Edited by Vai Io Lo and Mary Hiscock
Chapter 11: The BRICS+: Fault lines and opportunities
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (collectively referred to as the BRICS countries) are some of the worldís fastest emerging economies. They occupy a central position in their respective regions and often act as a trade and investment hub for other less-developed satellite countries. Lately, the BRICS countries have increasingly sought to enhance their politico-economic profiles and are now mulling over the idea of greater mutual cooperation. But the question remains what form would this cooperation take? The BRICS countries have little in common, and in many respects these countries may be considered as political rivals. The genesis of the BRICS of course lies in economic cooperation but the group itself has yet to become an economic bloc. It also demonstrates some signs of a quasi-political alliance. This chapter, however, focuses on trade and investment issues only. This chapter discusses issues pertaining to greater cooperation amongst the BRICS countries in terms of trade and investment. It is divided into three parts. Part one sets out a brief background and overview of the investment inflows and outflows, and trade in goods and services from the BRICS countries. Part two concentrates on the inclusion and the exclusion aspects of the BRICS. It raises the question whether a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) or any other integration model offers a possible solution. It discusses possible forms any future FTA structure would take if the BRICS policymakers decide to proceed down that path.
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