The South Asian Times

21 August 2017 11:57 AM

Brics summit good opportunity to expand cooperation: Expert

By IANS

New York, Aug 6: The Brics summit in the Chinese city of Xiamen will be a good opportunity for member nations to narrow differences and expand cooperation, a leading expert on international affairs has said.

Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told Xinhua news agency on Saturday that the upcoming summit is important because it sets a stage to resolve differences among Brics nations and extend cooperation from economic issues to other areas.

The expert, who is also a visiting professor at the Centre for Global Affairs at the New York University, made the comments nearly a month before the ninth annual Brics summit from September 3-5.

The Brics summit brings together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, along with participants from across the globe.

Sidhu expected member states to sustain the momentum on the Brics' New Development Bank (NDB), as well as other economic arrangements such as infrastructure investment.

The NDB was set up with an initial authorised capital of $100 billion during the sixth Brics summit in Brazil in 2014. It officially opened in Shanghai in 2015.

According to the expert, the NDB is very crucial for Brics countries in both geopolitical and financial dimensions.

"Brics countries like China and India are important players in the international financial institutions, but they are not being able to get the right amount of weightage that they deserve," said Sidhu.

He said reforms in the existing structure such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have been very slow, which lead to the creation of new and alternative structures, including the NDB.

In terms of finance, the bank plays a critical role in generating new sources of funding for projects in infrastructure and sustainable development, "not only in Brics countries, but other nations as well".

The professor called for more cooperation in climate change, cyber security, trade, energy and counter-terrorism issues.

He said that once the bilateral differences between Brics countries are resolved, it could really "open up the opportunity to take Brics to a new level to make it a very important multilateral player".

Update: 06 Aug, 2017

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