The annual meeting of foreign ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) takes place today, focusing on
The annual meeting of foreign ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) takes place today, focusing on the development of a unified response to the severe global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The gathering, chaired by Russia as the holder of the BRICS’ rotating presidency, intends to deepen a joint collaborative approach among the group’s members, as major emerging countries experience sustained economic contraction due to a tightening of financial conditions, including lack of access to capital markets and increased sovereign risk premiums, inflation and unemployment.
However, the BRICS countries, which collectively account for 42% of the world’s population, face the complex challenge of finding a consensual position and navigating the heterogeneous nature of the organisation. The pandemic has accelerated the divergent economic and political trajectories within a group, which continues to struggle with the endemic corruption, weakening democratic institutions, as well as protectionist and populist positions of some members.
Expect today’s meeting to produce policy recommendations directed at broadening coordination around COVID-19-related economic and humanitarian issues, including production and distribution of a vaccine and medical supplies and the expansion of the New Development Bank (NDB), which has become an essential source of external financing for the BRICS countries during the current crisis.
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