Brazil's Center for International Relations (CEBRI) Monday released a report on the country's expectations regarding its involvement in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) bloc.
The document, known as Brazilian Perspectives for BRICS-2022, was released at the invitation of China's embassy in Brasilia and is aimed at mapping trends and strategies ahead of the 14th Summit later this month. It was drafted by CEBRI Senior Fellows Tatiana Rosito and José Mario Antunes, with the support of the Asia Center team, and input from dozens of specialists.
Brazilian Foreign Ministry's Ana Maria Bierrenbach favors BRICS focused on issues that generate concrete results, and shares with the other partners the defense of multilateralism in pursuit of a fairer and more representative international order and greater participation of developing countries.
Bierrenbach, who is the coordinator of Interregional Mechanisms of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry and Brazil's sub-delegate for BRICS, explained that since 2019, when her country hosted the XI Summit in Brasilia, Brazil pursues a BRICS more focused on issues capable of generating concrete results, such as economic recovery, overcoming the pandemic, as well as economic and financial cooperation.
”We should mention here the New Development Bank (NBD), which is the greatest achievement of BRICS since its creation, and the recently launched vaccine research center, as well as the cooperation agreement on customs facilitation that is ready for signature, said Bierrenbach.
CEBRI held three meetings this year with Brazilian experts from the private and public sectors and civil society to debate the outlook, where they discussed the strengthening of intra-BRICS trade and investment, strategies to boost the complementarity of supply chains, and stimulate investments to promote productive complementarity and the gravitation of China in the bloc.
Bierrenbach also highlighted the integration between civil society, the business community and, in particular, the rapprochement between the national business community and the NBD.
This Brazilian vision, focused on the concrete results of sectoral cooperation, does not neglect the aspect of political coordination, which together with financial [and] economic cooperation and people-to-people contacts make up the three pillars underpinning the BRICS partnership, she added.
The talks resulted in a declaration adopted by the BRICS foreign ministers' meeting, which was held virtually on May 19.
The negotiations we held for the approval of that document indicate that BRICS continues to be valued by its five members as an important platform for cooperation and dialogue, and that the main objectives that led to the formation of the group 13 years ago are still alive, she went on.
These goals are the defense of multilateralism and the reform of multilateral institutions to make the international order fairer and more effective, legitimately representative and with greater participation of developing countries, she further explained.
Other relevant issues included the promotion of sustainable development, the fight against climate change, and the need to comply with the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 agenda.
Especially in a scenario in which these goals are threatened by new conflicts and threats that especially impact developing countries, Bierrenbach underlined.
China's Chargé d'Affaires in Brasilia Jin Hongjun stressed that together with Brazil and the other members of the group, the Chinese government hopes to promote a positive outcome for the Summit, making this cooperation mechanism a ballast and a source of energy in a turbulent scenario.
Former Brazilian Ambassador to China Marcos Caramuru de Paiva explained that Brazil will only be able to take advantage of the opportunities opened up by BRICS cooperation if it has a clear vision of a national development strategy. Insertion in BRICS and taking advantage of its platform depend on a definition of a broader national strategy. We must not only review some of the big economic issues, but also our insertion in the international economy and find a clearer and more value-added role for the BRICS in our reality.
In this regard, the report points out that Brazil should take advantage of the bloc as an opportunity to diversify and add value to its trade agenda and increase international intra-industry trade, and therefore proposes to stimulate greater engagement between the Eurasian, African and South American continents, where Brazil can build multilateral and regional bridges.
At the same time, the five countries are discussing a document proposed by the Chinese presidency on institutional improvements and the promotion of a broader partnership. This year, the Chinese presidency broke new ground by holding an unprecedented BRICS plus session in the context of the foreign ministers' meeting, something that had not been done before, Bierrenbach pointed out. She also underscored that Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, United Arab Emirates and Thailand were to participate as guests.
Brazil supports the BRICS commitment to developing countries and emerging economies, as well as the addition of new members to the NDB, which has already taken place. Brazil is willing to consider criteria for this engagement to be done in a more institutional and permanent way,” Bierrenbach insisted.