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A Bigger BRICS Means a Better BRICS
Expert supports five-plus model for greater global clout
By Yu Lintao and Hou Weili | Web Exclusive

Chen Fengying

In the future BRICS should invite more countries, which represent their different regions, to work together with the bloc for economic vigor and development potential.

The leaders of Egypt, Guinea, Mexico, Tajikistan and Thailand were invited to the BRICS Xiamen Summit. "BRICS Plus would expand the bloc's partnership, infusing a fresh driving force for its development in the next decade," Chen Fengying, former Director of the World Economy Institute at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations told Beijing Review on the sidelines of the summit on September 4.

Chen advocated the pursuit of multilateralism in politics and globalization in economy to combat emerging trade protectionism, calling it the fallout of the global financial crisis. "History tells us that trade protectionism is adopted mistakenly by countries after a financial crisis to reverse the economic downturn and improve people's lives. China's experience shows that only by staying open to the outside world and participating in globalization can a country ensure rapid growth," she said.

Chen said BRICS should adhere to the principles of openness and inclusiveness and resolve problems confronted by emerging markets through economic development. The grouping offers a platform for emerging markets and developing countries to boost their economy and strengthen their voice in the international community.

The world economy is growing slowly due to the sluggish recovery in many countries. Except for China and India, which have been enjoying relatively rapid growth, Brazil, Russia and South Africa, the other members of BRICS, are facing diverse challenges to stimulating growth, such as tumbling commodity prices and internal factors.

However, the slow growth and non-synchronized development are not peculiar to emerging markets alone. Chen said they also happen in developed European countries and the U.S., which is inevitable at the stage of economic adjustment after the global recession. "Non-synchronized development will not block BRICS cooperation as it is a temporary phase," she said.

(Reporting from Xiamen)

Copyedited by Sudeshna Sarkar 

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