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Ecuadorian experts say BRICS Plus benefits global economy

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-30 14:47

QUITO - Doubling the size of the BRICS bloc from the current five members to 10 could benefit the global economy, Ecuadorian experts told Xinhua before the ninth BRICS Summit to be held in China.

China floated the idea of BRICS Plus in March to expand the bloc's partnership, including some from G20 members, especially with developing countries. Members are set to consider the initiative during the upcoming summit scheduled for Sept 3 to 5 in Southeast China's coastal city of Xiamen.

Fernando Casado, an expert on international relations and communications at the Advanced National Studies Institute, believes BRICS Plus is a natural evolution for the bloc and its originator, China.

BRICS Plus could promote greater competitiveness for a healthier and more sound global economic system, he said.

"It does not surprise me that China wants to open up all forums, mainly because it is currently the one that is carrying out all the investments in the fields of infrastructure, road building and the military in a whole bunch of countries, where it is playing a leading role," said Casado.

Jose Ayala Lasso, Ecuador's former foreign affairs minister, said the initiative aims to take the reins in spurring the globalized economy and expanding areas of cooperation.

"China knows it is now the second, if not the first, world power. It has notable influence over the progress of the BRICS (and) the BRICS provides possibilities for cooperation," said Lasso.

The increasing influence of both the bloc and China lends weight to the coming gathering, he said.

The summit "is always important, because it marks a trend in the evolution of the global economy. There's no doubt that the group has a growing influence on the world economy, especially due to China's extraordinary and permanent resurgence," said Lasso.

Latin American countries, such as Ecuador, which now holds the rotating presidency of the multilateral Group of 77 plus China, cannot isolate themselves from these global phenomena.

"Rather, they have to join a world that is increasingly more globalized," Lasso said.

Political observer Fernando Carrion, who also served as Ecuador's foreign minister, believes the bloc has evolved into a key global economic player and its members have "gradually consolidated into a political-economic bloc," which makes the Xiamen meeting important.

"The BRICS have presence, they have economic factors, but also geopolitical and geostrategic factors. In that sense, it serves as a forum for cooperation with other world regions," said Carrion.

Many observers agree that the relatively young bloc has helped reform global economic governance by giving a greater voice to developing countries at traditional international lending institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which have for years been dominated by Western governments.

That achievement was made thanks to the BRICS spearheading the creation of an alternative funding source, the New Development Bank.