The Covid-19 pandemic had already dealt a massive blow to the world economy when the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out. The conflict and the sanctions major developed economies announced against Russia in response have resulted in food, energy and refugee crises, dealing yet another powerful blow to the global economy apart from heightening the tensions between Russia and the West. The energy and food crises have affected many countries across the world, especially developing countries, which depend heavily on food and energy imports.
To deal with such serious global problems, countries need to work together. In fact, they had done so after the 2008 global financial crisis broke out. But today, instead of joining hands to overcome the multiple crises, the United States and some other Western economies, caught in the vortex of anti-globalization, have abandoned their global outlook and are adopting more and more protectionist and unilateral trade and other policies. Globalization, in essence, should be about free and fair global trade and cooperation. But the US and its allies wanted globalization to be fashioned on the lines of the colonial system devised by the West.
That’s why the US-led West controlled global organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, in order to set almost all the global economic and commercial rules, and conspired to make the US dollar the default international currency. But globalization didn’t evolve according to their plan, as the contributions of emerging market and developing economies to global growth began increasing at rapid pace. In fact, the developed countries and their emerging market and developing counterparts have nearly the same share of the global economy today.
Realizing that they are increasingly losing their advantages in the global markets, the developed countries do not seem interested in boosting globalization any more. Instead, they are taking all sorts of anti-globalization and anti-WTO measures to protect their home industries and companies. In such a scenario, it is the obligation of emerging market economies to uphold globalization and promote multilateralism, so countries from the Global South can boost their economic development and improve the lives of their peoples. And BRICS, as a grouping of emerging market economies, is best suited to take this mission forward.
Therefore, it is important that the five BRICS member states deepen cooperation within the bloc, as well as with other developing countries, in order to help the global economy to overcome the serious challenges the world faces today. In fact, the 14th BRICS Summit, which concluded on Thursday and was themed “Foster High Quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in the New Era for Global Development”, vowed to strengthen cooperation among the member states as well as with other developing countries to overcome the food and energy crises.