Editorial: Building A Future BRIC by BRIC

Tim Haïdar


"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."
Henry Ford (1863-1947)

After March’s "Durban Declaration", finance ministers and central bank governors from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – the so-called BRICS nations - have agreed to a preliminary work programme for the foundation of a BRICS Development Bank.

Standing in counterpoint to the neoliberal economic dogma of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Bank of the BRICS will be capitalised with an initial investment of 50 billion dollars, primarily dedicated to aiding infrastructure projects in developing nations.

While this shared institution represents a seminal moment for the fledgling coterie, several questions abound: Are economy and demography alone enough to bind these disparate nations together? What currency will the bank use? Will the gestalt only serve as a vehicle for the power projection of its strongest member?

What is for certain is that the will is there and the fundaments are rock-solid. The group boasts four of the world’s ten largest economies worth a collective $13.8 trillion, 2781 tonnes of gold reserves – on a par with the IMF and almost five times more than the European Central Bank and Bank of International Settlements combined – and, of course, 123 billion barrels of oil and 59 trillion cubic metres of natural gas.

Will this bold initiative sink or swim in international waters? Time will tell, but many up-and-coming states will prefer to thrown their lot in with emerging nations rather than submerging ones…


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