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Article of the Ambassador-at-large, coordinator of the G20 affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vadim Lukov “BRICS as an important driver of G20 development”, published in the special international volume “G20 summit in St Petersburg under presidenc

There is a deep interconnection between the development of BRICS, on the one hand, and the development of G20, on the other hand. It is based on the process of formation of a multipolar global economy of the 21 century.

A qualitative strengthening of the G20 role as a tool of counteraction to the financial economic crisis and its consequences has become possible mainly due to the position of the countries with emerging market economy. BRICS members, whom South Africa joined in December 2010, have played the leading role here. Their support to anti-crisis measures – political in the line of G20 and financial in the line of IMF – has become an important factor contributing to the prevention of an uncontrolled growth of the crisis, mitigation of its consequences. On the other hand, BRICS partners have fairly viewed G20 as an arena of critical importance from the very beginning not only to agree on stabilisation measures, but also to promote their programme of reforming the international financial and economic architecture. Therefore, the formation of the G20 agenda is to a great extent the process of searching a compromise between not always coinciding aspirations of developed countries and countries with forming market economy

The aspiration to advance common interests within the framework of G20, primarily in the area of reforming the Bretton Woods system, has become one of the most important factors of gradual rapprochement of BRICS members. This process can be clearly traced in the declarations adopted by leaders of BRICS countries on 2009-2012 summits.

The volume and the degree of detail of sections dedicated to the statement of common approaches of BRICS countries to the problems of G20 constantly increases.

The awareness of the importance of strengthening the coordination of work has lead BRICS members to a conclusion about the need to build up a proper interaction system at all levels. Currently it includes the discussion of key issues of G20 agenda both at scheduled summits of the forum and at informal meetings of leaders, which are conducted on the side-lines of G20 summits; meetings of ministers of finance and central bank governors on the side-lines of spring and autumn sessions of IMF/WB governors; meetings of BRICS sherpa countries within the G20.

This practice is not at all contrary to the spirit of the G20, as critics sometimes rebuke BRICS. Similar mechanisms of coordination of positions exist in the European Union, which is a large collective “player” in the G20. Participants of the financial G7 also coordinate their approaches to a whole range of issues.

Moreover: the coordinated line of BRICS within the G20 in many issues helps searching for compromises, increases the efficiency of work of the G20, and also the effectiveness of the global management system in the economic area.

Thus, in 2010, BRICS members were constructive partners in the search of a compromise resolution of the issue of reallocation of quotas and votes in the World Bank. The reached agreements resulted in the increase of the share of developing countries and countries with emerging economy in the WB by 3.13%, having reached 47.19% from the total number of votes of Bank’s shareholders. Thanks to the agreement reached between BRICS and G7 countries in October 2010 in Kenchzhu (Republic of Korea), they managed to lay the foundation for the decision of the IMF’s Board of Governors to conduct a new round of reforms of the Fund. Although practical implementation of this decision is not easy, the very fact of the first direct negotiations between representatives of BRICS countries and the financial G7 in Kenchzhu is quite symbolic.

By building their participation in the G20 on the basis of specific common interests, BRICS countries do not contrast themselves to other partners, constantly search things in common in their positions. This to a large extent contributed to the development of milestone agreements by G20 summits, such as Framework Agreement for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth, Basel-III, “package” of measures for improving national and international surveillance of financial markets, Long-term action plan for the purposes of development, International cooperation mechanism for the purposes of preventing natural disasters in offshore mining and transportation of raw hydrocarbons.

BRICS countries make a noticeable contribution to the strengthening of the stability of the international monetary and financial system, which is one of the main strategic goals of the G20. In particular, in response to the appeal of the IMF’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde, leaders of BRICS countries at their meeting in Las Cabos on 18 June 2012 made a consolidated decision about participation of credit resources of the Fund for the amount of 75 billion US dollars The PRC announced its decision to make a contribution of 43 billion US dollars, Russia, India and Brazil – 10 billion US dollars each, South Africa – 2 billion dollars.. At the same time it should be highlighted that taking into account this step, BRICS countries expect from IMF partners and its managements more active actions in reforming the Fund.

Russian presidency in the G20 in 2013 certainly reflects a broad consensus platform of all participants of this forum, the common vision of top-priority goals, when leading the global economy to a sustainable development trajectory. At the same time, the Russian programme fully takes into account specific approaches of countries with emerging market economy, which are promoted by BRICS. There are ample grounds to listen to their voice: more than 50% of growth of the global GDP account for the share of this group of countries of in the last two decades.

It is therefore natural that our BRICS partners actively supported the priorities of Russian presidency in the G20. Main of them are stimulation of investments into the real sector of economy, building of confidence and transparency on markets, effective regulation on all markets.

The Russian presidency speaks in favour of combining efforts of partners to develop decisions, which are able to speed up the global economic growth and to expand employment. Currently, these are the most pressing tasks taking into account the deceleration of global economy growth rates and preservation of unemployment at unacceptably high level in many regions of the world. Taking into account close interaction of problems of acceleration of economic growth and fiscal consolidation the development of initiatives for the improvement of national systems of public borrowings and sovereign debt administration is extremely important. The Russian presidency is also working actively in favour of the advancement of the IMF reform. The G20 shall give a political impulse to both directions of such reform: the development of agreements on reconsideration of the structure of quotas and votes of the IMF on the basis of the new formula of their calculation and distribution, as well as ratification of decisions of the IMF’s Board of Governors of 15 December 2010 fixing main parameters of the 14th round of the Fund management reform by shareholder states.

Critics of BRICS sometimes affirm that the role of association in the G20 and in the global economy generally declines due to the recent drop in their growth rates. However, the comparison of growth rates of economies of developed western countries and BRICS countries in 2011-2013 (taking into account the IMF forecast for the current year) shows preservation of the significant advances of BRICS countries.

Their annual growth rate in the specified period made 4.11% against 1.37% in the developed countries of the West Calculated according to IMF’s statistical data: World Economic Outlook, October 2012.. Thus, the “weight” of BRICS countries in the global economy, and also in the G20, is still increasing (along with the growth of the role of the entire group of countries with emerging market economy).

BRICS participants are vitally interested in preservation and strengthening of the G20 role as the main forum of international economic cooperation of its participants. This position follows from the perception of the G20 as a global management structure, which most adequately reflects the realia of multipolar economy of the global world. At the same time, BRICS partners presume from the importance of taking into account not only interests of its participants, but of the entire international community in the work of the G20. BRICS participants, some of which participate in the Group of 77, the Non-Aligned Movement, regional structures in Africa, Asia and Latin America, are well informed about these aspirations and aspire to adequately reflect them in their approaches to the agenda of the G20. BRICS in the G20 acts not as a grouping pursuing some selfish interests, but as an authoritative mouthpiece of the majority of the countries with emerging market economics and the developing countries. BRICS advocates for the active dialogue of the G20 with the UN and its specialized organizations, regional integration associations. Such dialogue will allow strengthening the legitimacy of the G20 in the eyes of the surrounding world. And it will strengthen the support of its decisions by non-participants, without what it is hard to ensure sufficient efficiency of actions of the G20.

This approach is currently fully implemented by the Russian presidency through the programme of contacts in the outreach format.

The experience of participation of BRICS countries in the G20 shows that along with further strengthening of their financial and economic positions, the development of constructive dialogue with other partners within the G20, the contribution of BRICS into the work of this key international forum in the area of global economic management will grow.

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