BRICS: Laying the Foundations of the Next Empire?

Ant22

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I've been following the activities of the BRICS block quite closely over the past year and while the US empire is failing, the BRICS countries are building solid foundations to take over their spot.

A really interesting article was posted on Sott yesterday:

https://www.sott.net/article/372895-Creating-the-next-empire

Throughout history, political, financial, and military leaders have sought to create empires. Westerners often think of ancient Rome as the first empire. Later, other empires formed for a time. Spain became an empire, courtesy of its Armada, its conquest of the New World, and the gold and silver extracted from the West. Great Britain owned the 19th century but lost its empire due largely to costly wars. The US took over in the 20th century and, like Rome, rose as a republic, with minimal central control, but is now crumbling under its own governmental weight.

Invariably, the last people to understand the collapse of an empire are those who live within it. As a British subject, I remember my younger years, when, even though the British Empire was well and truly over, many of my fellow Brits were still behaving in a pompous manner as though British "superiority" still existed. Not so, today. (You can only pretend for so long.)

But this does suggest that those who live within the present empire - the US - will be the last to truly understand that the game is all but over. Americans seem to be hopeful that the dramatic decline is a temporary setback from which they will rebound.

Not likely. Historically, once an empire has been shot from its perch, it's replaced by a rising power - one that's more productive and more forward thinking in every way. Yet the US is hanging on tenaciously, and like any dying empire, its leaders are becoming increasingly ruthless, both at home and abroad, hoping to keep up appearances.

Warfare is often the death knell of a declining empire - both in its extreme financial cost and in its ability to alienate the peoples of other countries. In the new millennium, the US has invaded more countries than at any other time in its history and appears now to be in a state of perpetual warfare. This is being carried out both militarily and economically, as the US imposes economic sanctions on those it seeks to conquer. This effort has become so threatening to the world that other major powers, even if they do not have a history of being allies, are now coming together to counter the US.

The US is encouraged in its effort by an unnatural alliance between the countries of Europe. Although Europe is made up of many small countries, often with dramatically differing cultures, who have bickered with each other for centuries, the European Union has cobbled them together into an ill-conceived "United States of Europe."

Although the relatively new EU is already clearly stumbling and is on the verge of fragmenting, their leaders are desperately attempting to hold the unlikely alliance together with the help of the US. Meanwhile, the other major powers of the world are going full steam ahead to ensure that, when the US and EU reach their Waterloo, the rest of the world will carry on independently of the dying empire.

They are not merely waiting along the sidelines for the collapse to come, awaiting their turn at the top of the pecking-order. They are actively preparing their position to, as seamlessly as possible, take the baton at a run.

The End of Dollar Hegemony

Since the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, the US dollar has reigned supreme as the world's default currency. In 1944, the US held more gold than any other country, but in 1971, the US went off the gold standard, and since then, the dollar has been a fiat currency. The US has become increasingly cavalier in its abuse of the dollar - often at the expense of other countries.

Russia and China dealt with the latest round of strong-arm tactics by the US to adhere to the petrodollar by creating the largest energy agreement in history. This and all trade between the two countries will be settled in the ruble and the yuan. Russia has since been active in creating agreements with other fuel customers, also bypassing the petrodollar.

In creating these agreements, the Asian powers have unofficially announced the demise of the petrodollar. For decades, the US has applied its muscle to other countries, using the petrodollar. So, the Sino-Russian agreement stands, not only to end the petrodollar monopoly, but to create a decline in US power over the world, generally.

A New SWIFT System

Presently, the vast majority of economic transfers in the world pass through the SWIFT system, located in Brussels but controlled by the US. In recent years, the US has barred, or threatened to bar, other countries from the SWIFT system, effectively making it impossible for banks to transfer money and, by extension, causing the collapse of their banking systems. Russia has responded by creating its own SWIFT system.

It's entirely likely that, if Russian trading partners, such as Iran, are barred from the use of the Brussels SWIFT (or even threatened to be barred), Russia would extend the use of its SWIFT to them.

The creation of a second worldwide SWIFT would effectively remove the SWIFT threat from the US bag of tricks as an economic weapon. As long as Russia provides an effective money transfer service and does it without the intimidation that the US employs, it's predictable that other countries would flock to the new system, in preference to SWIFT. Once other countries are fully on board, the US would have no choice but to interface with the new system or lose trade with those countries.

A New Central Bank

In recent decades, China and Russia have been expanding their economic powers dramatically and have periodically complained that their seats at the IMF table are unrealistically low, considering their importance to world trade. In 2014, China officially replaced the US as the world's largest economy, yet the IMF has consistently sought to minimize China's place at the table.

It would seem that the West believes that it's holding all the cards and that the Chinese and other powers must accept a poor-sister position, if they are to be allowed to sit at the IMF table at all. The West somehow does not seem to recognise that, if frozen out, the other powers have the ability to create alternatives. As with the SWIFT system, the Asian powers have reacted to US overreach, not by going away licking their wounds, but by creating a second IMF.

The Russian State Duma (the lower house of the Russian legislature) have now created the New Development Bank. It will have a $100 billion pool, to be used for the BRICS countries. Its five members will contribute equally to its funding. It will be centered in Shanghai, India will serve as the first five-year rotating president, and the first chairman of the board of directors will come from Brazil. The first chairman of the board of governors is likely to be Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. It's therefore structured to be truly multinational.

In creating all of the above entities, the BRICS will, in effect, have created a complete second economic world.

In the latter days of the British Empire, we Brits seemed to be under the illusion that, even as our power base crumbled, we might somehow retain control by threats and bluster. The UK was utterly wrong in this and only succeeded in alienating trading partners, colonies, and allies by doing so.

The same is happening again today. China, Russia, and the rest of the world, when faced with American threats and bluster, will not simply fold their tents and accept that the US must be obeyed. They will, instead, create alternatives. And they are doing so exceedingly well and quickly. At this point, the overreach of the US is not only enabling other powers to rise, it is forcing their hand to literally create the next full-blown empire.

Comment: Move with the times and join the party or be left sitting alone on the curb. Not many will care and even fewer will look back to notice.


As the above article mentions, the US abandoned the gold standard whilst Russia and China are buying large amounts of gold and are considering setting up a gold trading system:

Russia-China real gold standard means end of US dollar dominance: https://www.rt.com/business/412546-china-russia-gold-standard-dollar/

The BRICS counties are considering starting an internal gold trading platform, according to Russian officials. When this happens, the global economy will be significantly reshaped, and the West will lose its dominance, predicts a precious metals expert.

In 2016, 24,338 tons of physical gold were traded, which was 43 percent more than in 2015, according to Claudio Grass, of Precious Metal Advisory Switzerland.

Gold moving from the West to the East

“We have to put the BRICS initiative into a broader context. It is just part of a geopolitical tectonic shift which started decades ago. We have seen a constant outflow of physical gold from the West to the East. At the same time, the West has lost the economic war, and as a consequence, the focus now turns to the financial system. China dominates the world economy and has displaced the US as the world’s most formidable economic powerhouse,” he told RT.

The creation of a new gold standard by BRICS is also a step to end the US dollar’s domination of the global economy

“As Bejing and Moscow understand that America used the dollar to control the world, by implementing a new kind of ‘Gold standard 2.0’ they want to distance themselves from this control. Furthermore, the vast majority of the people in Asia sees gold as superior, or ‘real’ money, something the West has forgotten, because of all the paper wealth (credit) they have accumulated,” said Grass.

The expert notes the BRICS countries account for 40 percent of the world’s population and around 23 percent of the world’s domestic product.

"In combination with the announcement of pricing oil in yuan, using a gold-backed futures contract in Shanghai, the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank, China is setting up an alternative to the post-Bretton Woods establishment. This is certainly a game changer,” said Grass.

Physically backed precious metals market spells the end of paper gold trade

The level of trust between BRICS countries can help them establish intragroup gold trading, which would be 100 percent physically backed.

“This will present a viable challenger that could over time lead to a break up of the current system since the West will likely still trade paper gold in the meantime,” Grass said.

According to London gold clearing statistics for 2016, the total trading volume in the London Over-the-Counter (OTC) gold market is estimated at the equivalent of 1.5 million tons of gold. The volume of 100oz gold futures on New York's COMEX reached 57.5 million contracts during 2016 or 179,000 tonnes of gold, the analyst notes.

The amount of mined gold is much smaller

“If we now take into consideration that only approximately 180,000 tons of gold have actually been mined up to today the scam is just gigantic and obviously unsustainable. The paper scams in London and New York will either blow up when the paper price of gold drops to zero or when just a fraction of investors insists upon receiving physical gold in return,” Grass said.

The expert believes that with paper gold trading, the established gold exchanges could cease to exist sooner or later.

“They will likely become obsolete and lose their importance over time. Although one cannot predict exactly how fast this will happen, the trend is clear: OTC and COMEX are working toward their own destruction,” he said.

Gold prices could explode if trading were backed by physical precious metals

“It will definitely lead to higher prices for physical gold. Imagine if you could buy on COMEX and OTC gold at a much lower price and still have the option to sell it in Asia for a much higher price; this would kill the old paper scams immediately. Therefore, I would guess that both could come up with new restrictions that only cash settlements will be allowed to avoid this. We know for example that even today 99.96 percent of COMEX gold futures are settled in cash,” Grass wrote.

The final battle: Gold vs. US dollar

The analyst recollected the Heartland Theory of Halford Mackinder, a British geostrategist at the beginning of the 20th century who influenced the likes of Kissinger and Brzezinski. Following the theory, we will soon face a war between physical gold and the US dollar.

“As per my understanding, we are moving into the final phase, the battle between currencies – one that will be backed by a hard asset which was real money since time immemorial until 1971 and the other one, backed by promises that future generations will pay through debt, inflation and ever-rising taxation,” he said.

Getting away from fiat currencies will be good for gold

“I would like to conclude with a final thought from my friend Jayant Bandari: the combination of negative yields, massive political risks around the world, and any attempt to move away from traditional currencies will be positive for gold and will take it to the next level. Investing is very much linked with geopolitics - once you understand the big picture, it becomes apparent what you should invest in,” Grass told RT.

More information:

Russia stockpiles gold in continued push away from US dollar: https://www.rt.com/business/405526-russia-highest-gold-reserves/
China claims discovery of its largest gold mine with $22 billion potential: https://www.rt.com/business/382654-china-gold-deposit-reserves/
​Russia increases gold purchases by 123%: https://www.rt.com/business/227755-russia-record-gold-purchase/


While America shortsightedly thinks that the key to world domination is through war, terror and propaganda against whoever they consider to be their enemy, Russia and China have been investing in their economies, while building close ties between their countries.

Result? Take the declining hegemony of the petrodollar:

While America is waging wars, Putin says: "Dump the dollar": https://www.rt.com/business/313967-putin-says-dump-dollar/

Russian President Vladimir Putin has drafted a bill that aims to eliminate the US dollar and the euro from trade between CIS countries.

This means the creation of a single financial market between Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and other countries of the former Soviet Union.

“This would help expand the use of national currencies in foreign trade payments and financial services and thus create preconditions for greater liquidity of domestic currency markets”, said a statement from Kremlin.

The bill would also help to facilitate trade in the region and help to achieve macro-economic stability.

Within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) the countries have also discussed the possibility of switching to national currencies. According to the agreement between Russia, Belarus, Armenia and Kazakhstan, an obligatory transition to settlements in the national currencies (Russian ruble, Belarusian ruble, dram and tenge respectively) must occur in 2025-2030.

Today, some 50 percent of turnover in the EEU is in dollars and euro, which increases the dependence of the union on countries issuing those currencies.

Outside the CIS and EEU, Russia and China have been trying to curtail the dollar’s dominance as well.

In August, China's central bank put the Russian ruble into circulation in Suifenhe City, Heilongjiang Province, launching a pilot two-currency (ruble and yuan) program. The ruble was introduced in place of the US dollar.

In 2014, the Russian Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China signed a three-year currency swap agreement, worth 150 billion yuan (around $23.5 billion), thus boosting financial cooperation between the two countries.

It’s now up to the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, to ratify the president’s bill to become law.



Putin’s revenge may see petro-yuan replace petrodollar: https://www.rt.com/op-edge/408006-china-oil-petro-yuan-russia/

The key to the coming petro-yuan lies in Moscow. And, if the Chinese currency eventually succeeds in usurping the long-standing petrodollar, Washington will only have itself to blame.

News that China plans to launch a yuan-denominated oil futures contract by the end of this year has come as a surprise to many analysts. However, Russia experts aren’t startled in the slightest because this move has been coming since Moscow abandoned its quarter-century attempt to integrate with the West, following the 2014 Ukraine crisis. A catastrophe which the Kremlin blames on the United States and the European Union, as part of what it considers to be an attempt to reduce Russian influence in its "near abroad.”

Beijing’s scheme aims to shift trade in “black gold” from petrodollars to a proposed petro-yuan. Which benefits China by making its currency more attractive internationally and providing greater energy security. However, the biggest winners may well be in Moscow. Because any decline in the dollar’s status severely dilutes Washington’s ability to wage economic war against Russia, via sanctions.

As the world’s biggest petroleum producer, Russia is vital to Beijing’s project. And, in turn, as the planet’s largest crude importer and most sizable economy (measured by purchasing power parity), China is the only country with the heft to challenge American financial hegemony.

Of course, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping can’t achieve their aims alone. Because if the petro-yuan is to succeed, other leading oil-drilling nations, will need to come on board. And, while Iran, Indonesia, and Venezuela have indicated their interest in the project, the key is tempting the Arab states to trade in yuan. And this essentially means Saudi Arabian cooperation is the big prize.

Plan of Action
Because, after all, the petrodollar was born in Jeddah in 1974, when the US Treasury Secretary William Simon convinced the Saudis that America was the safest place to park their oil revenue. And this cash flow has allowed the US to live beyond its means for decades.

However, in recent years, relations have become frayed, with Washington’s support for its fracking industry crushing petroleum prices and causing severe fiscal pain for the Saudis. Indeed, the primary reason for Riyadh’s developing detente with Russia has been a mutual desire to prevent a further slide in energy earnings. As a result, earlier this month, King Salman made a historic visit to Moscow, where the yuan plan was surely on the agenda.

Informed analysts insist the Saudis will have to come on board: “I believe that yuan pricing of oil is coming and as soon as the Saudis move to accept it — as the Chinese will compel them to do — then the rest of the oil market will move along with them," Carl Weinberg, chief economist and managing director at High-Frequency Economics, told CNBC.

The Masterplan
The roots of the petro-yuan lie in a series of "color revolutions" in the former USSR, which convinced Moscow that the West would never treat it as an equal partner. This culminated in a March 2014 speech, in the Kremlin’s majestic Georgievsky Hall, where Vladimir Putin addressed over 1,000 Russian dignitaries. But this was no ordinary keynote. Because tensions between Russia and the West were at levels not seen since the Cold War.

Just a few weeks previously, Ukraine’s government had been violently removed and, amid the chaos, Moscow had hastily moved to reabsorb its “lost province" of Crimea. A strategically important peninsula, which had been controversially transferred to Kiev in 1954, when the two formed a union-state. At the same time, pro-Russian protests raged in the eastern Ukrainian cities of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Back then, a stern Putin memorably said: “if you compress the spring all the way to its limit, it will snap back hard. You must always remember this.”

Indeed, ever since the United States imposed anti-Russia sanctions, first in 2012, ostensibly due to death of an accountant named Sergey Magnitsky, and the European Union, in 2014, in response to the Ukraine crisis, Moscow has been searching for ways to push back at the coercive measures.

The retaliation toward the EU was relatively straightforward: a food import ban, which has had the positive side effect of significantly boosting the domestic Russian agriculture industry, after initially contributing to inflation. However, due to a much smaller interdependency in trade, it’s proved harder to get even with Washington. Until now that is.

There is little doubt Moscow is hoping to engineer a US economic crisis to cripple its perpetual foe. Indeed, as CNBC also notes: “Russia and China have sought to operate in a non-dollar environment when trading oil. Both countries have also increased their efforts to mine and acquire physical gold if, or perhaps when, the dollar collapses.”

If the Saudis don’t play ball, they risk losing further market share. Especially, after new gas and oil pipelines from Russia to China begin operation next year. And there’s also the prospect that Chinese investors could boycott the IPO of state behemoth Saudi Aramco next year.

Meanwhile, there are high expectations for the petro-yuan. Because anything that weakens the American ability to wage economic war, and destabilize the Eurasian space, is a major win for the Kremlin. Furthermore, Putin may also consider the end of dollar dominance to be an important part of his legacy as he prepares for a likely final term as Russian President.

More information:

Why Launch of Oil Futures in China's Currency is Important: https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201711101058998483-china-yuan-dollar-oil-futures/
Will the Petroyuan Kill the Petrodollar? https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201712291060406973-petroyuan-kills-petrodollar/
How the Developments in Saudi Arabia May Foretell Collapse of Petrodollar: https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201711141059085004-saudi-arabia-oil-petrodollars/

There is also Russia's involvement in Venezuela:
Russia Agrees to Wait for Venezuela Debt but Beware Wall Street 'Vultures': https://sputniknews.com/latam/201711151059128591-russia-venezuela-debt-default/
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
Ant22 said:
I've been following the activities of the BRICS block quite closely over the past year and while the US empire is failing, the BRICS countries are building solid foundations to take over their spot.

A really interesting article was posted on Sott yesterday:

https://www.sott.net/article/372895-Creating-the-next-empire

As the above article mentions, the US abandoned the gold standard whilst Russia and China are buying large amounts of gold and are considering setting up a gold trading system:

Russia-China real gold standard means end of US dollar dominance: https://www.rt.com/business/412546-china-russia-gold-standard-dollar/

More information:

Russia stockpiles gold in continued push away from US dollar: https://www.rt.com/business/405526-russia-highest-gold-reserves/
China claims discovery of its largest gold mine with $22 billion potential: https://www.rt.com/business/382654-china-gold-deposit-reserves/
​Russia increases gold purchases by 123%: https://www.rt.com/business/227755-russia-record-gold-purchase/

While America shortsightedly thinks that the key to world domination is through war, terror and propaganda against whoever they consider to be their enemy, Russia and China have been investing in their economies, while building close ties between their countries.

Result? Take the declining hegemony of the petrodollar:

While America is waging wars, Putin says: "Dump the dollar": https://www.rt.com/business/313967-putin-says-dump-dollar/

Putin’s revenge may see petro-yuan replace petrodollar: https://www.rt.com/op-edge/408006-china-oil-petro-yuan-russia/

More information:
Why Launch of Oil Futures in China's Currency is Important: https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201711101058998483-china-yuan-dollar-oil-futures/
Will the Petroyuan Kill the Petrodollar? https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201712291060406973-petroyuan-kills-petrodollar/
How the Developments in Saudi Arabia May Foretell Collapse of Petrodollar: https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201711141059085004-saudi-arabia-oil-petrodollars/

There is also Russia's involvement in Venezuela:
Russia Agrees to Wait for Venezuela Debt but Beware Wall Street 'Vultures': https://sputniknews.com/latam/201711151059128591-russia-venezuela-debt-default/

Opening a thread on BRICS is a Super-Great-Idea, Ant22! And with the Calendar rolling over to a New Year (2018) - the timing is perfect - to start looking ahead at what our immediate Future might have in store for us. I think, BRICS and the Silk Road are going to play a large part in shaping our Future, geopolitically and financially? It will be the beacon of light, going forward, while the rest of the World disintegrates into a pile of ashes around it.
 

Ant22

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
angelburst29 said:
Ant22 said:

Opening a thread on BRICS is a Super-Great-Idea, Ant22! And with the Calendar rolling over to a New Year (2018) - the timing is perfect - to start looking ahead at what our immediate Future might have in store for us. I think, BRICS and the Silk Road are going to play a large part in shaping our Future, geopolitically and financially? It will be the beacon of light, going forward, while the rest of the World disintegrates into a pile of ashes around it.

Thank you angelburst29 :) It's an interesting topic in my opinion because some smart decisions are being made on the side of BRICS, especially Russia and China, which is the exact opposite of what the Western bully is doing.

But given the upcoming ice age and a bunch of comments en route the new empire may not have enough time to reach its full potential. Nevertheless, I do have to admit I'm quite curious to see how it's all going to play out. ;)
 

Ant22

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
BRICS are not only stocking up on gold and considering developing a gold-backed trading system, Russia also suggests creating a single virtual currency for BRICS and EEU: https://www.rt.com/business/414444-brics-eeu-joint-cryptocurrency/


An initiative to create a joint digital currency for BRICS countries and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has been proposed by the Central Bank of Russia, according to its First Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogatova.

She said the issue of a common cryptocurrency for a number of countries is very promising, more than that for a single nation.

“The participants of different economic events where I usually take part… all come to the conclusion the issue of a virtual currency is not needed much by one country. First of all, it makes sense to discuss the cryptocurrency on the level of several countries such as BRICS and EEU. It makes sense to set one equivalent for all payments,” Skorobogatova said at a Russian finance ministry meeting.

While no concrete decisions have been made yet, said the official, discussions are planned for 2018 by both BRICS and EEU members.

“The introduction of a national digital currency seems to us not entirely justified from the point of view of macroeconomics, population...” said Skorobogatova.

In September, the chief of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev said the BRICS finance committee was discussing a joint virtual currency for the five-nation bloc of developing economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

He added that within BRICS cryptocurrencies could replace the US dollar and other currencies used in settlements among the member states.

The BRICS countries consider switching to local currencies for mutual settlements with the Chinese yuan as the lead currency. The New Development Bank (NDB) is expected to be a substantial player in the process.

The five banks of the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism have agreed to establish local currency credit lines.


Coming back to gold:

Russia & China could set international gold price based on physical gold trading: https://www.rt.com/business/411763-russia-china-set-gold-price/

Since Russia, China, India, Brazil & South Africa are all either large producers or consumers of gold, or both, it is highly likely that the BRICS bloc they constitute could focus its cross-border gold trading network on trading physical gold, reports Bullionstar.com.

Gold pricing benchmarks from such a system would be based on physical gold transactions, which is a departure from the way the international gold price is currently established, according to the article.

Such a system would also be a threat to gold trading markets in London and New York. OTC and COMEX trade derivatives on gold, and are backed very little physical gold. Major BRICS gold producers, mainly Russia and China, could change the way the international gold prices are set currently.


Meanwhile in America:

US gold of low purity & that's why audit of reserves will never be allowed - expert tells RT: https://www.rt.com/business/414610-us-low-quality-gold/

The United States doesn’t let anyone see its gold reserves. Even if the Treasury has the number of billions it claims, they are not tradable, warns Singapore’s BullionStar precious metals expert Ronan Manly.

The US government claims to hold 8133.5 tonnes of physical gold in its official reserves. Fifty-eight percent is reportedly held in Fort Knox, Kentucky, 20 percent at West Point in New York State, 16 percent is said to be at the US Mint in Denver, Colorado and five percent is held at the NY Fed.

“The entire story around the US gold reserves is opaque and secretive. There has never been a full independent audit of the US gold reserves, and the custodians of the gold, the US Mint and the Federal Reserve of New York will not let anybody into the vaults to view the gold or to count it,”Manly told RT.

However, despite the numerous accusations against the US Treasury that it has much less gold than it claims, there is another reason, according to the expert - US gold is of bad quality.

“Even the details that have been provided on the supposed US gold holdings show that a majority of the gold bars are low purity and in weights that don’t conform to the industry standard ‘Good Delivery” gold bar specifications,” says Manly.

“So even if the US has the amount of gold it claims to have, most of this gold would not be acceptable for trading on the international market, and could only be used in swap transactions with other central banks that wished to swap Good Delivery gold bars for low purity and unusual weight US held gold bars,” he added.

If the claims about lower-than-claimed US gold reserves are true, it would re-shuffle the entire global economy, Manly predicts. Though it wouldn’t hit the US dollar directly, or result in an immediate shift away from using the US dollar for international trade, the consequences will be sizable.

“Firstly, proof of lower US gold reserves than claimed would add pressure for a full independent audit of all US gold reserves. It would also put the spotlight on the gold reserves of other major trading blocs such as the eurozone and China and Russia, and open up a debate as to what is the role of gold in the international monetary system. Which is something the US government constantly tries to avoid,” the expert says.

“It would also then refocus attention on international holders of US dollars pre-August 1971 when Nixon closed the gold window because after all those outstanding dollars held at the time by foreign central banks are still technically convertible into gold at the official gold price of the time,” he added.

Moreover, if the US Treasury gold holdings are falsified, it would put additional pressure on other central banks around the world, which have gold in the United States.

A proper check of the US gold reserves should include weighing all gold bars, checking assays, and publishing a full weight list in the public domain; the audit would have to be conducted by an entirely independent auditor. It will never be allowed by Washington, Manly says.


The C's provided a different explanation for the US secrecy regarding their gold reserves:

Laura said:
(Pierre) Officially, the USA holds 8,000 metric tons of gold as a reserve. What is the true number?

A: 2300

Q: (Pierre) Oh my god, it's less than France... Officially, China holds 1,800 tons of gold. But according to many sources, they hold more. What is the real number?

A: 3100

(Pierre) Officially, the USA holds 8,000 metric tons of gold as a reserve. What is the true number?

A: 2300

Q: (Pierre) Oh my god, it's less than France... Officially, China holds 1,800 tons of gold. But according to many sources, they hold more. What is the real number?

A: 3100
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
Ant22 said:
BRICS are not only stocking up on gold and considering developing a gold-backed trading system, Russia also suggests creating a single virtual currency for BRICS and EEU: https://www.rt.com/business/414444-brics-eeu-joint-cryptocurrency/

An initiative to create a joint digital currency for BRICS countries and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has been proposed by the Central Bank of Russia, according to its First Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogatova.

She said the issue of a common cryptocurrency for a number of countries is very promising, more than that for a single nation.

“The participants of different economic events where I usually take part… all come to the conclusion the issue of a virtual currency is not needed much by one country. First of all, it makes sense to discuss the cryptocurrency on the level of several countries such as BRICS and EEU. It makes sense to set one equivalent for all payments,” Skorobogatova said at a Russian finance ministry meeting.

While no concrete decisions have been made yet, said the official, discussions are planned for 2018 by both BRICS and EEU members.

“The introduction of a national digital currency seems to us not entirely justified from the point of view of macroeconomics, population...” said Skorobogatova.

In September, the chief of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev said the BRICS finance committee was discussing a joint virtual currency for the five-nation bloc of developing economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

He added that within BRICS cryptocurrencies could replace the US dollar and other currencies used in settlements among the member states.

The BRICS countries consider switching to local currencies for mutual settlements with the Chinese yuan as the lead currency. The New Development Bank (NDB) is expected to be a substantial player in the process.

The five banks of the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism have agreed to establish local currency credit lines.


Coming back to gold:

Russia & China could set international gold price based on physical gold trading: https://www.rt.com/business/411763-russia-china-set-gold-price/

Since Russia, China, India, Brazil & South Africa are all either large producers or consumers of gold, or both, it is highly likely that the BRICS bloc they constitute could focus its cross-border gold trading network on trading physical gold, reports Bullionstar.com.

Gold pricing benchmarks from such a system would be based on physical gold transactions, which is a departure from the way the international gold price is currently established, according to the article.

Such a system would also be a threat to gold trading markets in London and New York. OTC and COMEX trade derivatives on gold, and are backed very little physical gold. Major BRICS gold producers, mainly Russia and China, could change the way the international gold prices are set currently.

“How is 1800 Tons of Gold Being Stored in Main Gold Storage of Russia” January 8, 2018 (Photos)
http://englishrussia.com/2018/01/08/how-is-1800-tons-of-gold-being-stored-in-main-gold-storage-of-russia

Photos from main gold storage of Central Bank of Russia. Almost 1800 tons of gold is stored here. This is the main storage of gold in Russia. This makes Russia to be number six in the world by gold storage.

However ten years ago Russia had only 3% share of the total world gold storage.

Today Russia’s gold is 17% of world’s gold.

And this is how all this gold is being stored.
 

Ant22

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Moscow invites BRICS partners to invest in rebuilding post-war Syria: https://www.rt.com/business/418566-russia-brics-syrian-market/

Russia has invited its partners among the BRICS nations (Brazil, India, China and South Africa) to establish a foothold in the promising Syrian market, according to the Russian Ambassador to the country, Alexander Kinshchak.

“According to Syrian estimates, losses in the real sector of the economy topped $75 billion,” the ambassador told TASS news agency. “UN experts believe that it will take nearly $200 billion to achieve the pre-crisis GDP growth rate,” he added.

“We are aware that the Syrian government will find it difficult to obtain a huge amount of money required for the post-crisis recovery,” Kinshchak explained.

“Therefore, Russia suggested that the international community, first of all, the nations friendly to Syria, should join efforts in order to work out a complex program for its revival,” he added.

Kinshchak said Russia was looking to BRICS and allies like Iran and other states that have independent foreign policies and are motivated to gain a foothold in the promising Syrian market.

In 2016, Damascus and Moscow signed nearly a billion dollars’ worth of agreements to rebuild war-torn Syria. Russia was offered a chance to participate in exploring and developing oil and gas on land and offshore. In particular, it was invited to upgrade the Baniyas refinery and construct a refinery with Iran and Venezuela.

Syria has begun agricultural exports to Russia. The countries also intend to open a bank to facilitate transfers. The bank would be controlled 50-50 by the countries’ central banks.

After the restructuring of Venezuelan debt Moscow made mutually beneficial agreements with Damascus in 2016 (as noted in the above article).

While Russia is encouraging development, "US rating agencies unfairly downgrade developing countries & keep US ratings high."

https://www.rt.com/business/421567-us-rating-agencies-downgrade/

Standard & Poor's (S&P), Moody's, and Fitch Group are often accused of using double standards when assessing countries, companies and financial instruments. RT has talked to experts about this bias.

It is absurd when Russia, a country with the fifth-largest reserves of physical gold, and with gold reserves of $450 billion, had a rating lower than the investment grade and close to the junk status of some Latin American countries with a much less reliable level of protection of the financial system,” analyst at TeleTrade Petr Pushkarev told RT.

Another example of unfair ratings is Brazil, according to Pushkarev. “The credit rating of such a huge and rich country like Brazil is BB-, according to two of the ‘big three’ – the same as back in 2001. The country has undergone a lot of development during this time, and the whole BRICS community has become much more united, stronger,” he said. Despite this, Brazil has the same rating as Bangladesh, the analyst notes.

Not all investors are following the advice of the ‘big three,’ and those who invested in the Russian or Brazilian economy have enjoyed the strengthening of the rouble and Brazilian real, said Pushkarev. However, hedge funds, pension funds and many investors are still looking at the ratings by the ‘big three’ when making investments, and developing countries are losing money.

Pushkarev said that when S&P was forced to downgrade America's rating from AAA to AA+, “the indignation and pressure from the US government was so great that then, despite the growth of public debt and budget deficits, there were no new revisions of US ratings, and the other agencies didn’t downgrade the US.

Vladimir Rozhankovsky, Global FX Investment analyst, said it is very difficult to prove that the ‘big three’ agencies are biased in their ratings. There have been many trials against these companies, but their bias hasn’t been proved yet.

The agencies are using internal scoring models, which are their own methods and, for this reason, they are not obliged to disclose information about these,” the analyst told RT. Moreover, the agencies are claiming that if you don’t like their ratings, then don’t use them, he said.

Rozhankovsky said that poor assessment of synthetic collateralized debt obligations (SCDOs) led to the most large-scale global crisis since the Great Depression of 1929.

Despite the accusations of having triggered the crisis, S&P, Moody's, and Fitch have done close to nothing to change their assessment criteria, he added.


Edit: typo
 

Ursus Minor

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
While on the subject of "Foundations of future Empires" - I wonder which density these empires might exist in.

Do you reckon that in a 3-D postapocalyptic world the BRICS countries could have been spared with only The West having been reduced to rubble?

While I assume that in 4-D STO empires will hopefully not be a necessity that leaves only 4-D STS as the next Empire playground...

We're certainly still waiting for the Wave to arrive, aren't we?
 

Ant22

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Ursus Minor said:
While on the subject of "Foundations of future Empires" - I wonder which density these empires might exist in.

Do you reckon that in a 3-D postapocalyptic world the BRICS countries could have been spared with only The West having been reduced to rubble?

While I assume that in 4-D STO empires will hopefully not be a necessity that leaves only 4-D STS as the next Empire playground...

We're certainly still waiting for the Wave to arrive, aren't we?

Hi Ursus Minor, as stated earlier in the thread:

Ant22 said:
(...) But given the upcoming ice age and a bunch of comments en route the new empire may not have enough time to reach its full potential. Nevertheless, I do have to admit I'm quite curious to see how it's all going to play out. ;)


Although I don't have much hope (if any really) that Russia and other BRICS countries will raise as the new empire and humanity will live happily ever after, I do think that those countries will make the dusk of the current cycle we are on much more interesting to watch ;)
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
As Johannesburg is gearing up to host the anniversary summit of the BRICS heads of state, accompanied by some other leaders, Sputnik takes a closer look at the organization.

25.07.2018 - Top 5 Things You Need to Know About BRICS Ahead of the 10th Summit
Top 5 Things You Need to Know About BRICS Ahead of the 10th Summit

The term 'BRIC' was coined by a Goldman Sachs economist in 2001 to describe four emerging powers, Brazil, Russia, India and China, which were expected to rival the G7 countries in terms of GDP. The countries were quick to capitalize on the format when their leaders met in 2008 on the sidelines of the G8 meeting in St. Petersburg. They invited South Africa to join the club in 2010. Today, the five countries account for over 40% of the planet's population and more than 20% of its GDP.

BRICS will hold its 10th summit in Johannesburg, South Africa from 25 to 27 July. The meeting will wrap up with a "Johannesburg Declaration", which is expected to include joint commitments by the member states for the following year.

Informal Group With Solid Agenda

BRICS doesn't have a secretariat, charter, or other official norms like other similar organizations such as the Shanghai Security Organization or MERCOSUR.

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, BRICS doesn't have what he called the "bloc discipline" which is inherent to military alliances. The group members share common or similar views on key economic, political, and humanitarian issues.

This year, South Africa took over the rotational chair after China's turn, focusing on "inclusive growth and shared prosperity in the fourth industrial revolution," which means introducing advanced technology into each economic sector.

Different Goals Under One Roof

The organization touts itself as apolitical and helps its members maintain relations and improve their image; however, they don't view it as a key instrument of foreign politics. For Russia, BRICS is but another platform to discuss global security issues, while China regards it as a tool to promote its business interests in Africa. BRICS helps Brazil and South Africa with investments, while consolidating India's foreign relations.

Russia's Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev praised BRICS as a "crucial stabilizing factor in global affairs", calling for a "united front in the fight against the drive by certain states to preserve hegemony in global affairs at the expense of other countries."

Standing Up to the US Dollar

Since 2015, the group has sought to use national currencies to promote mutual trade. In 2015, the BRICS leaders reached a deal to set up a $100 billion forex pool. Although Russia isn't likely to require protection from currency volatility shocks, it is interested in the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; they're expected to play the role of the World Bank and the EBRD, which have refused to invest in projects in Russia.

The five BRICS members sealed the deal to set up the NDB in Fortaleza, Brazil in 2014. They decided that they all would have equal voting shares, unlike in other international banks where a country's voting weight depends on its contributions. In 2016, the NDB provided over $1.5 billion in financial assistance, including for projects to build power plants in each of the five member states. A year later, it pledged to ramp up lending to $2.5 billion.

Expectations From the Summit

The 10th summit will largely be dedicated to peace, human rights, medicine, and tourism. South Africa has proposed setting up a working group on peacekeeping, a BRICS gender and women's forum, and a vaccine research center.

According to Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, her country will push the club for a counter-terrorism strategy with a focus on "money laundering, terrorist-finance, cyber-space, and de-radicalization."

In turn, China has a keen interest in investments: on Tuesday, it pledged to invest $14.7 billion in South Africa. "I expect to see a bold, sweeping statement led by the Chinese side that will condemn protectionism and de-globalization with an intent to keep the global trading regime intact and predictable," Martyn Davies, managing director for emerging markets and Africa at Deloitte, said, as quoted by Bloomburg.

Dropping in on the BRICS Summit

Wednesday's summit will see some other guests apart from the Brics heads of state, including the UN secretary general, and the leaders of Argentina, Indonesia, Egypt, Jamaica, and Turkey. South Africa has also invited representatives of Angola, Gabon, and Zambia to attend.

Last year, China was a proponent of a BRICS-plus circle, which envisages dialogue between the five regional leaders and those within the zones of their influence or interest.


26.07.2018 - BRICS Leaders Gather in 'Rainbow Country' to Discuss Trade, Politics, Economics
BRICS Leaders Gather in 'Rainbow Country' to Discuss Trade, Politics, Economics

While the heads of the BRICS countries were holding talks and working on the Johannesburg declaration, business leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa were also in town – to share views on the 4th industrial revolution, and on ways of dealing with America’s trade war.

If you walk around Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg’s Sandton area, you can find the man’s name and images everywhere – from the giant statue in front of a large shopping complex, to smaller Mandela figurines in shops, to another big statue made of real chocolate.

Mandela, whom many locals call by his Xhosa tribal name – Madiba – was an iconic figure for South Africans – someone whom they still admire as a great leader, who struggled for racial equality.

Nelson Mandela passed away in 2013, but his image is on the logo of this year’s BRICS summit, and his name was mentioned many times during the event:

“We invoke his name here because the work we are here to do requires of us to build on the foundations Madiba laid for the advancement of democracy, world peace, human solidarity, international cooperation and mutual respect,” said South Africa’s current president, Cyril Ramaphosa. It’s the first BRICS summit for Ramaphosa, who was elected in February this year, replacing Jacob Zuma in office.


President of Russia @KremlinRussia_E

#BRICS Summit in Johannesburg https://bit.ly/2JWtsC3
7:21 AM - Jul 26, 2018

As the heads of the BRICS states gathered in Johannesburg to hold bilateral and multilateral negotiations, business leaders were discussing investments, common projects and the economic pressure from Washington.

China and Russia are currently affected by America’s hostile economic policies, ranging from sanctions, as is the case in Russia, to possible new tariffs – which is the case with Beijing; so entrepreneurs and officials from both countries often see BRICS as a good alternative to partnerships with the US, and a promising new market.

Russia’s former Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, who is now the chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation, told Sputnik what Russia has to offer to BRICS partners when it comes to the high-tech sector:

“Innovation, using new technologies, big data, new materials and neurotechnology – all of that is becoming reality, and it’s important to make these things as widely available as possible.”

In 2014, the bloc established its own financial institution – the New Development Bank, which has issued loans totaling $5.1 billion since its creation, and this year the figure of approved loans is nearing $1.7 billion.

South Africa, which is currently working hard to attract foreign investment, just received help from its BRICS allies. Several days ago the New Development Bank gave the country a $300 million loan for the upgrade of its outdated coal-powered energy sector.

The summit resulted in the signing of the Johannesburg declaration, in which the BRICS leaders commended South Africa for its drive towards the bloc’s development, its inclusiveness and the commitment to technology-driven growth. The document also mentions other aspects of economic cooperation, like the development of sustainable energy sources, as well as political issues, like multilateralism and the need to reform international institutions.

Even though the term BRIC was coined at the turn of the 21st century, the bloc’s first summit wasn’t held until 2009, when its leaders gathered in Russia’s Yekaterinburg. One year later South Africa joined the bloc, which originally consisted of Brazil, Russia, India and China.


(Note - Former President Obama was just in Johannesburg, Africa. )
Jul 18; Posted Jul 17 - Watch: Former President Obama delivers speech at 2018 Mandela lecture
Watch: Former President Obama delivers speech at 2018 Mandela lecture

Former President Barack Obama is in South Africa on Tuesday to deliver a speech at an annual Nelson Mandela lecture.

Analysts say Obama's participation in the lecture in Johannesburg on Tuesday marks his highest-profile speech since he left office. The occasion comes just one day after current U.S. President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture - Barack Obama - Full Coverage
Published on Jul 17, 2018 (4:01:51 min.)

The 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, in partnership with the Motsepe Foundation, was delivered by former US President Barack Obama in Johannesburg on 17 July.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
The BRICS summit in Johannesburg has brought the leaders of the group together to discuss various global issues that the world faces today. The meeting is taking place against the background of the so called “trade wars” started by the US.

28.07.2018 - 'Trump's' Trade Wars Could Be Beneficial to BRICS' - IR Specialist
'Trump's Trade Wars Could Be Beneficial to BRICS' – IR Specialist

Throughout 2018, trade protectionism set the tone for US international policy. In March, Donald Trump raised tariffs on steel and aluminum, not sparing even his closest allies. This move only generated anxiety and suspicion all over the world.

However, Trump's actions can give BRICS countries the opportunity to restructure the world’s trade system. As the isolation of the United States grows, other participants in international trade are beginning to rebuild themselves politically.

Charles Pennaforte, an international relations specialist from the Federal University of Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, told Sputnik Brazil how Trump's policy could become beneficial to BRICS.

"Without a doubt, this is important for the growing influence of BRICS in terms of world trade. In fact, Trump is just showing, without any added colors, what big international trade actually looks like. This world trade serves the interests of the old powers,” Pennaforte said.

Thus, the BRICS countries are becoming a point around which countries that are in search of an alternative to the US-led international scheme can gather.

"From a practical point of view, Trump has no minimal economic grounds. Most American production is located outside the country, in China, and in other countries. Thus, the unleashed trade war, which is a kind of revenge in the form of customs duties, will have a detrimental effect US industry itself in the medium term,” the specialist said.

He further stressed that the positive effect of protectionist shocks, lies in the fact that they should push the world towards regrouping its political forces in search of an alternative.

According to Pennaforte, BRICS will follow the direction of the two main countries, whose influence is growing each day.

"Under the leadership of Putin in recent years, Russia has been reborn as a geopolitical player. It, just like China had [reforms] in its [military] arsenal. I believe that these two countries will be ahead, promoting changes in the international arena,” Pennaforte concluded.

The BRICS summit also highlighted issues that are taking place not just outside the bloc, but within it as well. Brazil and South Africa are mired in a struggle between various political forces, while India hasn't hidden its discontent with the Chinese New Silk Road project.

In order to work through these issues, Russia and China are taking on the initiative to build a new system of international relations.

Pennaforte said that in the case of Brazil, the political crisis has dragged on for more than three years and it has actually weakened Brazil’s position not only within the BRICS but also in the international arena.

In terms of significance, the government of [Michel] Temer led Brazil to a near zero mark. With the help of instruments of soft power, Brazil could have a much greater weight in those areas where China does not have a strong influence, but, unfortunately, at the moment we are inactive," Pennaforte told Sputnik.

The specialist further noted, with regret, that the country is essentially inactive within the BRICS, drawing attention to the decline of Brazil's foreign policy ambitions during the period of Temer's tenure.

The tenth annual BRICS summit gathered the leaders of the bloc’s emerging economies in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa for a three-day event.


27.07.2018 - 'By Helping Each Other BRICS Nations Could Diversify Their Economies' - Prof.
'By Helping Each Other BRICS Nations Could Diversify Their Economies' – Prof.

The tenth annual BRICS summit gathered the leaders of the bloc’s emerging economies in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa for a three-day event. Speaking at the summit on Wednesday, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said 'no one will emerge as a winner’ in a trade war.

Sputnik discussed the statement with Daniel Bradlow, SARChI Professor of International Development Law and African Economic Relations at the University of Pretoria.

Sputnik: President Xi has called for rejection of a trade war. How likely is it to be avoided and what could BRICS nations do in this regard?

Daniel Bradlow: What the BRICS nations can do is by helping each other trade more they can diversify a bit away from the United States and make it easier for all five of them to remain engaged with trade without the US if necessary, or at least to reduce their dependence on the US.

Sputnik: There is obviously increased opportunity not least with increased trading with the US, the potential of maybe even getting a trade deal with the United Kingdom. That was, until recently, the fifth largest trading nation on Earth, so there’s obviously opportunities there as well. I suppose it’s interesting times for the BRICS nations, they should be, by its actual nature, increasing in trade and prosperity, would you go along with that?

Daniel Bradlow: It should, they’re all important economies both within their own region and within the world, so it helps not only each other but their own regions, if they can trade more with each other and help each other develop. For example, for South Africa we are mainly a commodity exporter and if we can develop more, stronger supply chain links and develop, diversify our exports to other countries that would be a big gain for us, and it looks like there's some movement in that direction. You might’ve seen President Xi and President Cyril Ramaphosa opened up a new Chinese car manufacturer in South Africa, so there is some real potential.

Sputnik: Just give us an insight into potential that South Africa has got, because really you want to grasp this opportunity. What are the areas that you would hope, as a professor there of international development in South Africa, where they could really try and move ahead and push forward, and embrace the opportunities that the current global situation gives?

Daniel Bradlow: Well one obvious area is tourism, we have lots of important tourism and lots of attractions for tourists. The BRICS countries have been working to reduce visa barriers, for example, between each other. One of the areas that they’re exploring at this meeting is greater collaboration around tourism, so that's one area. Another one, as you say, with Russia we have a gate way to quite a big market in Southern Africa and potentially to the rest of the continent. So other countries could see coming to South Africa as a way to get into the rest of the continent and to develop links. As you may know, South Africa recently signed a continental free trade agreement that ultimately will turn the whole continent into a free trade area, and that, I would’ve assume, should be of great interest to all the other BRICS countries.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
Erdogan is asking BRICS to consider taking Turkey into the organization and has elaborated - that BRICS could become BRICS(T)?

Just my opinion, BRICS should "stand alone" comprising of the five major economies that first initiated the groundwork to lay it's foundation? As to - how to go about - giving recognition to additional (approved) member-states, not sure how that can be worked out?

The way that BRICS is taking off in growth, especially in the economic sector, it's only a matter of time that other Countries approach BRICS for admission. Maybe something like "BRICS+1"? I'm sure, there's probably some legal options that can be applied to their Corporate Charter or Mandates?


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on BRICS leaders to take the necessary steps so that Turkey may join the association, the newspaper Hurriyet reported.

29.07.2018 - Erdogan Urges BRICS Leaders to Enable Turkey's Accession to Group - Reports
Erdogan Urges BRICS Leaders to Enable Turkey's Accession to Group - Reports

"We are in the G-20 with five of those countries. I wish they would take the necessary steps to let us in and we take our place in BRICS," Erdogan was quoted as saying by Hurriyet.

Erdogan also reportedly added that his suggestion had been welcomed by the BRICS member-states, especially China. According to the Turkish president, the BRICS members have been considering involving other countries in the group.

If you take us in… the platform would become BRICST," Erdogan added. The Turkish president attended the 10th BRICS summit, which was held earlier this week in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The BRICS group is comprised of five major emerging economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
India, South Africa and Turkey superpowers by 2020.

Interesting statement, Domagoj.

In my opinion, South Africa definitely has the potential to become a superpower. It's rich in resources and structural and manufacturing development in the past few years, has improved it's economic and trading platforms.

India, also has the potential. As for Turkey, I think it has a long way to go - to achieve that status? Having a large and well equipped Military doesn't qualify it as a superpower and economically, Turkey needs more internal structural and management capabilities. For the most part, Turkey has been keeping it economy afloat by stealing Iraq and Syrian oil reserves? That's not exactly - Free-Trade?


27.07.2018 - BRICS' Expansion Largely Significant in Wake of US Tariff War - JNU Professor
BRICS’ Expansion Largely Significant in Wake of US Tariff War – JNU Professor

Professor Swarn Singh of New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) said that the BRICS’ potency as an alternative global governance system can be established if trade between these countries is strengthened in the face of the US tariff war and if its members find innovative ways to strengthen credibility at home and abroad.

The annual BRICS summit is currently underway in Johannesburg, South Africa, where leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are putting their heads together to thrash out a roadmap to be collectively followed by the grouping on multifarious contemporary issues ranging from politics, trade, and economics. Another key agenda is the expansion of the BRICS group. An Indian international relations analyst is of the opinion that BRICS countries have a big agenda to build up their credibility and that the group's expansion has a large significance in the face of the US-led global tariff war. Increased consolidation of intra-BRICS trade is the need of the hour, according to professor Swarn Singh.

"The Johannesburg summit this week is expanding the BRICS outreach further. It will hold dialogue in both formulations of BRICS+N (nine African countries) and BRICS+ which include countries like Argentina, Egypt, etc. This truly makes BRICS an event with global overtones and its implications become stronger in the face of US President Donald Trump's tariff war, which portends a majority of BRICS members potentially being identified as US adversaries," Swaran Singh, professor of international relations at Jawaharlal Nehru University, told Sputnik.

Observing that the BRICS member countries continue to be seen as a diverse and disjointed group of nations with varying trajectories, even serious bilateral disputes, professor Singh emphasizes the need for multi-pronged innovative strategies in strengthening the BRICS constituencies at home and its credibility worldwide.

He feels that the rapid rise in intra-BRICS trade has been encouraging but not enough.

"No doubt the rapid rise in intra-BRIC trade from $29 billion in 2000 to $319 billion in 2010 when South Africa joined and then to $744 billion last year provides a catchy explanation to underline BRICS' expanding partnerships. But this was more to do with the overall rapid rise in their global commerce. China's foreign trade during 2000-2017 rose from $47 billion to 4.1 trillion which is much higher compared to the rise in intra-BRICS trade," Singh said.

The five BRICS nations, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, together comprise 40 percent of the world's population and nearly 25 percent of the world's land area. The contribution of the BRICS nations to world GDP has grown from about 8.3 percent in 2000 to 23 percent in 2017.
 

latulipenoire

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Interesting statement, Domagoj.

Observing that the BRICS member countries continue to be seen as a diverse and disjointed group of nations with varying trajectories, even serious bilateral disputes, professor Singh emphasizes the need for multi-pronged innovative strategies in strengthening the BRICS constituencies at home and its credibility worldwide.

He feels that the rapid rise in intra-BRICS trade has been encouraging but not enough.

"No doubt the rapid rise in intra-BRIC trade from $29 billion in 2000 to $319 billion in 2010 when South Africa joined and then to $744 billion last year provides a catchy explanation to underline BRICS' expanding partnerships. But this was more to do with the overall rapid rise in their global commerce. China's foreign trade during 2000-2017 rose from $47 billion to 4.1 trillion which is much higher compared to the rise in intra-BRICS trade," Singh said.

The five BRICS nations, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, together comprise 40 percent of the world's population and nearly 25 percent of the world's land area. The contribution of the BRICS nations to world GDP has grown from about 8.3 percent in 2000 to 23 percent in 2017.

It's interesting, I think, to imagine how the BRICS nations could be much more powerful politically and economically if all of them had someone strong and honest as Putin governing them. It's sad to see, for example, Brazil and India becoming ever more aligned with the U.S and Europe while ignoring crucial ties with countries that could offer so much more in terms of bilateral strategies and win-win situations.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
It's interesting, I think, to imagine how the BRICS nations could be much more powerful politically and economically if all of them had someone strong and honest as Putin governing them. It's sad to see, for example, Brazil and India becoming ever more aligned with the U.S and Europe while ignoring crucial ties with countries that could offer so much more in terms of bilateral strategies and win-win situations.

I don't know - how much "Brexit and the EU" might be affecting bilateral relations with BRICS nations? Was Brexit devised as a counter-move to weaken BRICS?
 
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