Pundits, as everyone else, are prone to mistakes, especially when associated with large financial corporations or investment houses. The daily and strenuous involvement with indices, rates and figures of all sorts often leads them to a narrow and excessively focussed view when analysing broader issues. A good example is the recent slowdown in the growth rate of the BRICS, taken by some financial experts as the irrevocable herald of their doomed end.
Let it be clear from the start: the BRICS is a political experiment, unique in the realm of international relations. Yes, it began as a nicely sounding acronym, pooling together four countries big in the main size indicators – population and surface area being the top ones- which stood as promising investment destinations. But things change.
However, nowadays it is neither a regional integration project, even under a lighter and more flexible format like that of ASEAN, for instance, nor a joint effort to produce a common voice in all instances of the present day global problems. Even less the menacing concoction of a separate economic bloc that will dominate –whatever the meaning ascribed to this word- the economic scene of this century. Those who resort to any of these scales to measure the BRICS phenomenon will be dearly wrong, naturally producing negative judgements every time disagreement or different positions take place within the five members.
Think a while: how could five countries not even connected that are the outcome of starkly different spatial, cultural and historical trajectories, all of a sudden become a single entity looking through a single perspective at the world events? Impossible; but then don’t infer, once again, that they make no sense. Here lies the gist of the BRICS.
(For the complete story, see the inaugural issue of Global Dialogue Review)
-Renato Galvão Flôres Junior