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BRICS should offer alternative development pattern to American one, suggests expert

The BRICS format (informal intergovernmental entity made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) can and should propose a new concept for sustainable development in contrast to the US model, Director of the Strategy for Asia Center of the Institute of Economics at Russia's Academy of Sciences Georgy Toloraya said in an interview with TASS.

Amid a new geopolitical reality where Russia is reluctant to take a backseat role and play by Washington's rules, and holds a different view of the world, "an alternative concept is important," instead of "denying the American-centric order and the attempts made by a 'City upon a Hill' to rule the world," he said. "Particularly the concept of multipolarity, a fresh sustainable development, compliance with a certain code of international rules and concepts. This is what Russia should offer together with BRICS," the expert added.

Earlier this week Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov embarked on a multi-nation junket though Africa. Prior to his visit, the top diplomat said that Moscow is seeking to expand dialogue between BRICS and African states.

"BRICS is an ideal platform for developing this model to develop this concept and further on offer a new view on development different from the American one to the whole world," Toloraya said. "A revision is necessary in those conditions, this is a normal historical evolution," he said, adding that "Europe has taken an interest in BRICS recently since many contracts are being reached in this area."

"Truth to be told, this year (South Africa took over chairmanship in the group as of January 1 - TASS) after China's successful and efficient chairmanship in BRICS the organization's work has plateaued. South Africa does not have the resources that China has, particularly there has been a change of power in the country, and Brazil has scheduled a national election for October. No one knows how the situation will unfold, which is why it is necessary to use this pause to focus and develop new ideas," the expert said.

"The main thing for Russia is to conduct a respective dialogue with South Africa and propose options that could be the highlight of the chairmanship. As of now there are certain ideas, particularly to implement the 'BRICS plus' (inviting the heads of the African Union and other regional organizations to BRICS summits - TASS) format, there are specific ideas concerning the expansion of the energy platform, and the production of medications. However, it is important to use the period of Russia's chairmanship in the BRICS in 2020 to develop a number of proposals able to help the integration play a significant geopolitical and geo-economic role," Toloraya said. "An ordinary integration group as part of the BRICS is no longer efficient and unnecessary, the global management system should be revised, the time is ripe to candidly state this," he added.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 06Mar18]

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