*Cooperation in the fight against coronavirus *Strategy for pandemic survival
rev Smaller nations too seek help
R Muthu Kumar
India will attend a key meeting of BRICS foreign ministers later this month to discuss the economic fallout of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 2,549,632 people worldwide and led to more than 175,825 deaths in four months.
Since the BRICS nations Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are severely affected by the covid-19 pandemic they have decided to discuss strategy for economic recovery.
There is a need to keep such political configurations working to see if cooperation at various levels can be developed, given the impact of covid-19 on the global economy and the upcoming video conference among the leaders and experts in BRICS nations will be a useful one and many countries are looking closely at the happenings in this bloc.
With American President Trump fully immersed with American issues due to the waves of devastation unleashed by the COVIS 19 spread and the mighty fall US economy is facing due to global crude price fall he has lots to handle and has no time to dedicate for international commitments.
WHO was dropped, Harvard University too was asked to return back the grants sactioned by American government.
Under these conditions smaller nations are forced to keep distance from Trumpas they fear his ire.
With other global big economies likde China, Russia, India are in mood to help other nations, the BRICS discussion assumes importance for global security too.
What can the BRICS block do? Well it is pertinent to note that the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) earlier this month had successfully issued a 3-year RMB 5 billion Coronavirus Combating Bond in the China Interbank Bond Market. The NDB said the bond attracted interest worth more than RMB 15 billion from a high-quality diversified investor base both onshore in mainland China, as well as offshore.
The aim of this bond issue is to support the Chinese Government in the financing of public health expenditure in Hubei, Guangdong and Henan provinces that are hit the hardest by COVID-19..
International Monetary Fund has projected global growth in 2020 to fall to minus 3% because of the impact of the pandemic on economic activities across the world, as countries enforced stringent social distancing norms.
The global trade, economy needs thrust to limp back and America is not in a position to commit itself for world trade at this moment.
It is necessary at the BRICS gets going to become catalyst for global trade revival .
Russia and China , Brazil and even South Africa are not entirely in line with that of the US in the recent days.
India meanwhile can play a bridging role here, as it enjoys a new found closeness with trump administration.
India has participated in several multilateral meetings on the pandemic, including the one involving South Asian heads of government and between senior officials of the Indo-Pacific region.
India has been playing the role of a “reliable global supplier” of medicines, and has sent shipments of hydroxycholoroquine (HCQ), seen as a useful treatment option for patients with covid-19 complications, to 55 countries. India was exporting the drug to countries such as the US, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Russia, South Africa and Australia, while the medicine was being sent as a grant to countries in South Asia, the Dominican Republic, and Uganda, said one of the people mentioned above said.
All these shows the alertness and keenness of India in jelling with global trade and commerce.
The BRICS share in world trade has increased significantly from 3.6 per cent in 1990 to 15per cent in 2010. Combined trade (exports and imports) now amount to $5.9 trillion.
If BRICS discusion meet as proposed early and the the participants discuss ways to make BRICS deepening their own partnership and dialogue with third countries and other integration formats to help each other nation and intensify work on soft security, including health.
BRICS cooperation in the fight against coronavirus may impact the U.S. position in global affairs, favorably to China, Russia.
It is time now for BRICS to jointly respond to challenges and bounce back stronger.