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Mains Answer Writing

7-october-2023

Q1) The collective strength of BRICS nations allows for meaningful cooperation on myriad issues, however, the platform’s ability to influence the trajectory of bilateral relationships remains limited. Do you agree?

ANSWER:

The collective strength of BRICS can be established by the fact that BRICS nations constitute almost 27% of the world’s geographical area, 28% of the GDP of the world. and about 41.5% of the world’s population. The countries are present in the crucial Indo-Pacific Region and provide huge markets for global trade and commerce. All the economies form part of the G20. These economies are considered the emerging and fastest-growing economies of the world.

COLLECTIVE STRENGTH OF BRICS FACILITATES MEANINGFUL COOPERATION BETWEEN THE MEMBER STATES

  1. Financial Architecture: BRICS has developed a very strong financial architecture which is based on 2 institutions, i.e., NDB (New Development Bank) and CRA (Contingency Reserve Arrangement). These help in creating resilient economies between BRICS countries.
  2. Payment System: Since 2015, BRICS nations started working on creating an alternative payment system to serve as an alternative to the SWIFT system. In the current geo-political scenario, this has become an important area of cooperation.
  3. Economic Cooperation: This is done through agreements like the BRICS trade agreement. This collaboration deepens economic cooperation and integration of trade and investment markets.
  4. Security Cooperation: BRICS members have agreed to cooperate in areas of achieving peace, security, and stability of the Member States. For e.g., BRICS Counter Terrorism Action Plan.
  5. Global Foreign Policy: BRICS members have also utilized the platform to push the issue of more representation to the Southern Region in the UN, African Agenda, and South-South Cooperation.
  6. People-to-People Exchange: BRICS have tried to recognize the need for strengthening people-to-people exchanges to foster close citizen-to-citizen cooperation in areas like education, culture, sport, youth, cinema, etc. For e.g., the Young Diplomats Forum, Parliamentarian Forum, Trade Union Forum, and Media Forum.

BRICS ABILITY TO INFLUENCE BILATERAL RELATIONS IS LIMITED

  1. Border Disputes: BRICS doesn’t have a structure or institution to resolve border issues and jurisdictional issues between the Member States. For e.g., Indo-China Border (LAC) Issues.
  2. Economic Competition: China’s rising economic power and its aggressive pursuit of trade and investment opportunities have raised concerns among other members.
  3. In addition, trade disputes, such as the ongoing trade tensions between China and the United States, can spill over into the BRICS grouping and create divisions among its members.
  4. Trust Deficit: BRICS members suffer from a trust deficit due to a lack of proper communication and unilateral changes in the status quo by other countries without any penalty from the grouping. For e.g., China’s aggressive action in LAC.
  5. Geopolitical Issues: For example, China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea has raised concerns among other members, while India’s growing ties with the United States have caused friction with China and Russia.
  6. Different Value System: Some members of the group have a democratic governance system while others have a communist system (dictatorial regimes) which limits the capability of BRICS to facilitate bilateral dialogue.
  7. Lack of Equality: BRICS as a grouping has emerged as China-centric thereby reducing the autonomy and space for other smaller partners like Brazil, South Africa etc.

Member countries must exercise self-restraint in their actions in order to build confidence in bilateral relations. Further, the grouping must focus on economic growth and sustainability instead of expanding into various other areas because of which the grouping is losing its focus.

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