‘BRICS should expand cooperation in fighting Covid-19, reviving economy’

The BRICS member nations should expand cooperation in tackling the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and reviving economy, Brazilian experts said after the bloc of five major emerging economies held its 12th Summit virtually.

BRICS — Brazil, China, Russia, India, South Africa — should strongly commit to improving global health systems and assisting the World Health Organization in its efforts to fight the pandemic, Mauricio Santoro, a professor on international relations at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, told Xinhua news agency on Wednesday.

The idea behind the creation of BRICS is that developing countries will become increasingly important to the world economy, he said.

Partnerships and dialogues between the BRICS members and countries taking part in the Belt and Road Initiative for global growth are another prominent aspect of stepped up cooperation, especially given the importance of promoting multilateralism in both economic and social matters, said the expert.

“All this will be essential to resume the growth of the world economy.”

Alexandre Ganan de Brites Figueiredo, author and director of the Global South Institute, believes that the union of efforts and common interests, which has represented BRICS from the beginning, is the best answer to the challenges presented by the pandemic.

The 12th BRICS Summit is “certainly another step towards recovery”, although it is also “important to note that the BRICS (countries) have already demonstrated that they have their own institutional means to help themselves overcome the crisis”, said Brites.

This year, even before the summit, the New Development Bank made a large loan available to help the partner countries fight the pandemic, said the expert.

The BRICS countries together represent about 42 percent of the global population, 23 per cent of global GDP, 30 per cent of world territory and 18 per cent of global trade.