E. Àrapova (email@example.com),
Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, 76, Prosp. Vernadskogo, Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation
During 2017 BRICS Summit the Chinese government announced the idea to promote the “BRICS Plus” cooperation approach, encouraging closer partnership among the group of emerging markets and developing countries. The idea was fixed in the final declaration, but the mechanism of its implementation remains uncertain, as well as the list of participants. The paper aims at reflecting Russian approach to the implementation of the “BRICS Plus” concept and exploring direction of potential cooperation among the countries of the expanded format. The key idea underlying our projections is that all the BRICS countries are leading economies within one of the regional integration arrangements on their continents, so the member countries of these five integration blocks may form the ‘BRICS Plus circle’ for flexible and multi-dimensional cooperation. The implementation of the “BRICS+” idea may push interaction within a group of developing countries for strengthening stability and enhancing their role in the world economy. The new expanded format of “BRICS Plus” can serve as a platform for linking regional integration associations in two ways: (1) expansion of trade cooperation at the trans-regional level, gradual harmonization of foreign trade policies within five integration associations and (2) gradual shift of trans-regional agenda from trade cooperation to a wider range of areas. The author stresses, that in trade cooperation particular attention must be paid to the harmonization of technical regulations, as well as sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards. Besides, the expanded format of “BRICS Plus” may provide a network of bilateral currency swap agreements aimed at reducing dollar payments and stimulating settlements in national currencies. The system of currency swap agreements can be supplemented by the networks of interbank local currency credit lines agreements and harmonization of banking rules and procedures. The author concludes, that according to contemporary priorities of the developing countries and regional agendas of the five integration blocks the new directions of trans-regional cooperation may include (1) harmonization of e-commerce policies and creation of a common e-commerce information space (trans-regional e-Commerce platform) (2) inter-state cooperation in the interests of small and medium enterprises (3) creation of a consolidated technological platform at “BRICS Plus” level.
BRICS, “BRICS Plus”, international trade, regional economic integration, international financial cooperation, currency swap agreement, technological cooperation
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