BRICS Summit in Ufa. Expert Analysis

Ufa hosted the BRICS Summit on July 8-9. Experts have discussed the results of the summit, the decisions made and the prospects of BRICS.

The Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency held a multimedia round-table video conference entitled "BRICS Summit in Ufa. Expert Analysis of Results." Ufa hosted the BRICS Summit on July 8-9. Experts have discussed the results of the summit, the decisions made and the prospects of BRICS.

The conference was attended by Professor Ruslan Grinberg, Director of the Institute of Economics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Leonid Grigoryev, Chief Adviser of the Head of the Analytical Center of the Government of the Russian Federation, Head of the Department of World Economy, Head of the Chair of World Economy, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, National Research University – Higher School of Economics.

Leonid Grigoryev noted that BRICS states were of special interest not only because of their largeness, but also because they were very internally-unbalanced. On the one hand, in many countries we can see big cities with top-level universities, on the other hand, poor provinces. South Africa has the biggest social inequality in the world. Brazil, China and Russia are not far behind it. They were all caught in the trap of average level of development. The countries need to shift from the level of $5,000 per capita to $10,000, $15,000, and then make a surge for $25,000 – the level of social stability and developed market. The countries have had quite hard times keeping to this path so far, - the expert believes.

According to him, "China's stock market has lost ground, Brazil has slowed down, Russia is currently in a complicated economic situation. But no one has been running like clockwork at this stage; advanced countries have also pulled through this path with difficulties”.

The expert reckons that BRICS states are putting all efforts into their development. Establishment of banks has greater symbolic and practical value than mere money injected into them for investing. The economic effect from a bank's operation is the future, because creation of infrastructure is just beginning, not a penny has been invested yet. That is why the economic situation neither in BRICS states themselves nor in other countries can change abruptly.

Grigoryev is of the opinion that it has a colossal symbolic and intellectual meaning, because for the first time a system parallel to the IMF that can grant any country a loan, even if it is a small sum, appears. The expert also pointed to the emergence of the competition between institutions at the level of development banks, because all regional banks – be it Asian or African ones – are subordinate to the policy of the World Bank and are not fully independent.

Ruslan Grinberg assumes that politics prevails over economy in BRICS at the moment. One of the causes is that the modern world is full of various uncertainties and the lack of mechanisms to govern world affairs.

"If during the times of the Cold War, the US headed one bloc, the USSR – another bloc, there was a developing world, there were certainly many different problems, but in any case the world was more or less manageable. We were on one side of the street, Americans were on the other. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a monopoly was formed, America's monopoly on all affairs in the world," – Ruslan Grinberg said.

The expert noted that it became clear that Americans could not manage and keep at least any order in the world. Talks about a multipolar world began, and BRICS has good chances to peacefully oust the monopoly of the United States in world affairs. Grinberg also reiterated Lenin's words that "monopoly leads to decay." The United States did not dodge such fate either. Being the most powerful state, it afforded an opportunity to make military involvement in Iraq, Libya, bombings in Belgrade, and that is an obvious manifestation of ill monopolism. Monopolism cannot bear anything positive by definition. No secret that BRICS states are generally interested in limiting the monopoly of one state in world affairs.

The conference was also attended by Professor Georgy Toloraya, Executive Director of Russia's National Committee on BRICS Research, Director of the Center of Russian Strategy in Asia, Institute of Economics, Russian Academy of Sciences, and Victoria Panova, Chief Strategy Planning Advisor, National Committee on BRICS Research, Co-Chair of Civic BRICS, Associate Professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.