BUSINESS The BRICS strengthens economic ties in the post-pandemic era


The BRICS strengthens economic ties in the post-pandemic era


13:59, November 16, 2020

The 12th BRICS summit will be held virtually on Tuesday. The bloc is forging economic cooperation at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the world economy.

China expects the summits to play "important leading roles" in global efforts to strengthen cooperation in fighting COVID-19, facilitate economic recovery and improve economic governance.

BRICS is the acronym for an emerging-market bloc that groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The bloc set up the New Development Bank (NDB) in 2015 to finance infrastructure projects in the developing world. The Shanghai-headquartered bank has offered much needed assistance in reliving pandemic-induced economic pains.

Leslie Maasdorp, vice president and CFO of the bank, noted that global pandemics demand cross-border solutions.

"Given the fiscal constraints faced by most BRICS countries, the NDB, alongside other multinational development banks, has become a key instrument to complement the governments' limited resources to fight the pandemic," Maasdorp commented in a July blog post.

NDB repurposed its lending program in helping BRICS members fight the pandemic. The bank announced a $10 billion emergency assistance program, which allows fast track disbursements for COVID-19-related loans made as bullet payments within a month of approval. The loan would usually take several months to be disbursed for an infrastructure project.

Trade ties

More than 60 companies from the BRICS bloc showcased their products at the third China International Import Expo (CIIE), taking up exhibition area of nearly 4,000 square meters.

From January to September, the bilateral trade volume between China and Brazil hit $86.51 billion, a year-on-year increase of 4 percent. In the same period, the trade volume between China and Russia was $78.84 billion, a year-on-year drop of 2 percent, custom data showed.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa congratulated China for hosting the third CIIE, terming it an important event at a time when the world is embarking on the road to economic recovery. 

China reiterated that it will continue to open its vast consumer market to the world despite the pandemic. The country is embracing "Double Development Dynamic" strategy, indicating an economic development pattern that takes domestic development as the mainstay, with domestic and international development reinforcing each other.

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