News

    BRICS Nation Leaders to Hold Summit in India

    Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (L) shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao during their bilateral meeting in New Delhi, March 28, 2012.
    Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (L) shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao during their bilateral meeting in New Delhi, March 28, 2012.
    Kurt Achin

    Leaders from some of the world's largest developing economies are arriving in India for a summit. The BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - are very different but share some common development goals. The leaders are preparing for Thursday's group meetings and sideline bilaterals that will cover topics ranging from global security to increased financial cooperation.

    An editorial in the International Herald Tribune this week derided the diverse group of nations as “an artificial bloc built on a catchphrase.”  The term "BRIC” was coined by the investment bank Goldman Sachs in a 2001 research report. The four BRIC countries later formed a political organization, which expanded in 2010 to include South Africa, hence the updated name - BRICS.

    Indian Foreign Ministry official Sudhir Vyas says the group has a common interest in economic cooperation.

    "Intra-BRICS trade is growing at an average rate of 28 percent annually and currently stands at about $230 billion, and there is a strong growing middle class with rising levels of income," said Vyas. "The BRICS countries, therefore, today present an opportunity as new growth poles in a multi-polar world."

    The BRICS nations represent 40 percent of the world's population. John Kirton, co-director of the BRICS Research Group at the University of Toronto, says the BRICS nations are united not only by their emerging economic strength, but also by shared vulnerability.

    "They are of global significance and they know it," said Kirton. "They have a sense of global responsibility and that is their common bond, but they all have a very imminent memory of being very poor and the challenges of development."

    Kirton says a key item on the agenda for the summit will be the eventual creation of a BRICS development bank, to provide mutual credit and investment opportunities for member nations without having to depend on Western institutions.

    "I mean, not born here, right in Delhi, but there will be a pretty clear road map, probably with a timetable, so that within a year or so, we will have it," he said. "We can't really see a full blown design until some of the technical problems are worked out."

    Foreign assistance by BRICS nations has sharply increased over the last five years, in line with the countries' growing wealth. Brad Tytel, a vice president at Global Health Strategies, an international consulting company, says the way BRICS nations deal with public health issues like AIDS and tuberculosis can set a positive template for the rest of the world.

    "The fact that these countries are dealing with these issues right now, gives them a lot of direct influence on how other countries are addressing them, how quickly they can take up new tools and technologies, and renewed programs and policies that they may seek to implement.  It's the potential that's really important," said Tytel. "I mean, the BRICS countries have huge potential to be a really transformative force in global health."

    In preparation for Thursday's summit, Indian police have taken dozens of Tibetan exile activists into protective custody. Earlier this week, a 27-year-old Tibetan self-immolated to protest the arrival of Chinese President Hu Jintao. He died of his injuries.  

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in the likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of the city. They vow a siege will not be over quickly. But their plans are not being helped by squabbles breaking out among insurgent commanders.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Co-Ed Selective Service Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.