BRICS members should cooperate more deeply in the coming decade to improve the group’s performance and increase tangible benefits for its people.
At the opening of the BRICS Business Forum on Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the five countries should continue to implement agreements and consensus already reached, use current mechanisms, and actively explore new ways and new areas of cooperation to ensure durable and fruitful cooperation.
In the first decade, BRICS cooperation saw fruitful results through the hard efforts of its members — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which account for 42 percent of the world’s population and contribute to more than 50 percent of global economic growth.
With more than 60 cooperation mechanisms established, the countries have engaged in cooperation covering economy, trade, finance, science, technology and culture.
Most noticeably, the BRICS New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, which supplement major Western-dominated international financial institutions and provide financing support for infrastructure and sustainable development of BRICS members.
The group has become an increasingly important and indispensable force in the world economy and global economic governance, shining through the dark clouds of de-globalization, protectionism and populism across the globe.
Its achievements have laid a solid foundation for the group to embark on a second “golden decade” of cooperation.
However, Western doomsayers have often doubted the viability and practical results of BRICS cooperation, claiming that the group had lost its luster or fallen apart, completely ignoring the progress it has made.
Blind and prejudiced speculation that belittles BRICS and its increasingly influential role in international affairs will come to little.
BRICS nations have encountered headwinds of varying intensity in recent years due to complex internal and external environments. This makes substantial cooperation among BRICS members more necessary than ever.
China, which holds the group’s rotating presidency this year, has proposed “BRICS Plus” to invite leaders of five other developing countries, including Mexico and Egypt, to the summit for dialogue with BRICS leaders.
With wider participation and cooperation, BRICS will increase its vitality and expand its influence.
BRICS countries will make substantial progress in the new decade, with the summit in Xiamen a new starting point.
A “golden decade” will not come easily unless BRICS continues to institutionalize and substantiate cooperation.
Such substantial cooperation will not happen without upholding the shared spirit of treating each other as equals, seeking common ground and adopting a results-oriented approach.