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H.E. Luo Zhaohui
Chinese Ambassador to India
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BRICS to continue growing momentum, contributions to world
2016/10/23

BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Figures and facts show that the BRICS countries will continue the momentum of growth and will remain a powerful engine of the world economy.

As a lingering slowdown and even depression started to haunt some of the BRICS economies, the gloomy allegation that "BRICS of gold is seeing a fading shine" has loomed in Western media.

However, voices and moves from the BRICS countries have beaten off such sayings. A Sunday address from Chinese President Xi Jinping will definitely help build the confidence of the BRICS countries.

GROWING, CONTRIBUTING

The BRICS countries will strive for a strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive global growth through structural reforms, growth patterns innovation, and building up an open economy, Xi told an annual BRICS summit in the western Indian state of Goa.

Growth is the touchstone of the BRICS economies. Despite a plunge in commodity prices and a sluggish economic global recovery, the economic growth rate of China and India in the year of 2015 was 6.9 percent and 7.6 percent respectively, according to the International Monetary Found (IMF). In contrast, the global average that year was 3.2 percent.

Although the situation in Russia, Brazil and South Africa, which depend heavily on resources, is not as good as that in China and India, there is no need to fuss over the slowdown as it only mirrors a gloomy global landscape.

Critics should also not turn a blind eye to the fact that every economy has its twists and turns, and a forever straight climbing is impossible.

Furthermore, the five BRICS countries share some common advantages: richness in natural and human resources, vast domestic markets, huge potential in development with bright prospects thanks to policy coordination.

Because of this, experts believe the growth nature of the BRICS countries and its rising momentum will not be swayed.

In its World Economic Outlook for the year 2017, the IMF predicted a 6.2-percent and 7.6-percent growth for China and India. Russia and Brazil will get out of the mire of economic recession and achieve a 1.1-percent and a 0.5-percent of growth rate. South Africa is expected to lift this year's 0.1 percent to 0.8 percent in 2017.

The IMF also expected the emerging economies to contribute 75 percent of world growth in 2016 and 2017, still as the most important engine for the global economy.

The five BRICS nations, with over 40 percent of the world's population and nearly one third of the world's land area, have a combined GDP of about one-fifth of the world's total.

Also, the BRICS countries' economy has also been taking an increasing part in the world economy.

Xi said in his address that, according to IMF, the five BRICS countries contributed to more than half of the global growth in the last decade. Ten years ago, the total economic volume of the BRICS countries accounted for 12 percent of the world economy. The number now has grown to 23 percent. A decade ago, these countries' total trade volume and foreign investment volume accounted for 11 percent and 7 percent of the world's total trade volume and foreign investment. The two rates have now increased to 16 percent and 12 percent respectively.

PLATFORMS

The BRICS countries have witnessed a decade-long successful cooperation since its first meeting of foreign ministers, which has now developed into an influential platform for emerging economies.

Schemes including the New Development Bank (NDB), which was initiated in 2014, display coordinated efforts of the five nations to reform the global economic governance.

The bank, formally opened in July last year in Shanghai, has witnessed remarkable progress.

Three months after it was established, the NDB announced it had successfully issued its first bonds worldwide to raise funds for clean energy projects in member states. The five-year green bonds, denominated in the Chinese currency renminbi or Chinese yuan, are worth 3 billion yuan (449 million U.S. dollars).

At the same time, economic ties within the BRICS framework have also been deepened since the bloc's debut summit was held in 2009.

Statistics from China's Ministry of Commerce show that in the last seven years until 2014, trade volume between the BRICS countries reached an annual growth rate of 17 percent, which is a lot more than the annual growth rate of global trade in the same period.

It also shows that China is currently the largest trading partner of Brazil, Russia and South Africa.

Furthermore, the shared interests also expanded after China proposed the Road and Belt Initiative in 2013. The program received warm welcome from the BRICS countries.

"China is a staunch supporter and participant of the BRICS mechanism, and takes the BRICS cooperation as one of its diplomatic priorities," Xi said. "We believe the BRICS cooperation will forcefully promote world peace, stability and prosperity."

As an old Chinese saying goes: "Pure gold does not fear furnace," the BRICS of gold will still continue to glitter. (Yu Maofeng, Xu Jiatong also contributed to the story.)