Nepali Times
"BRICS is not anti-western"

Brazil's high-profile participation in last week's BRICS Summit in New Delhi marked the beginning of a new foray by the Portuguese-speaking South American nation into Asia. China has become Brazil's largest trading partner and bilateral trade grew from $2 billion five years ago to $77 billion last year. Brazil's trade with India has grown to $15 billion a year, and intra-BRICS trade is expected to double to $500 billion by next year. The Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs of Brazil's Ministry of External Affairs, Maria Edileuza Fontenele Reis, travelled to Kathmandu this week after attending the BRICS summit to inaugurate Brazil's new embassy here. She spoke to Nepali Times about Brazil's expectations from BRICS and the Rio+20 environment summit in June.

Nepali Times: Why did Brazil wait so long to open an embassy in Kathmandu?
Maria Fontenele Reis:
We are so pleased we could finally open our embassy here, and we want to start launching concrete projects with Nepal in agriculture, human resource training, and to share knowledge on trans-boundary projects like Itaipu. We want to promote Brazilian investment in hydropower, and make Lower Arun a model project so it can send a positive message to other foreign investors in Nepal.

How would you assess the accomplishments of the fourth BRICS summit in New Delhi?
We think it has really enhanced the capacity of the world's emerging markets to make a strong statement of cohesion in geopolitics, trade, finance and environment negotiations. The main focus of the Summit was to fight for a more inclusive and representative world order and bolster the demand of rich countries to take effective measures to ensure global economic recovery. We are moving gradually, but solidly, to act together to reform global financial institutions like the World Bank, IMF, re-examine the quota system and look at UN reform. We had a very successful coordination in the Security Council in 2011. In New Delhi we decided to set up a working group to establish a BRICS development bank to promote sustainable development and infrastructure. There was also an agreement among our central banks to stimulate growth in investments and trade in our own currencies.

There has been some criticism that the Summit was dominated by China and Russia?
I was present during the negotiations, and I can say that is not true. Decisions are only taken by consensus, and BRICS member countries all have very strong and independent foreign policies. For example it was because of our insistence that the final declaration took up the Palestine issue so strongly, and on Syria it was Brazil that pushed for a condemnation of the killings of unarmed civilians, otherwise the declaration would have been equally critical of both sides. We are not an anti-western grouping, we stand for the twin pillars of coordinating our political position in the international arena like UN, G20, or WTO, and also strengthening trade and cooperation within BRICS.

What are the chances of a breakthrough at the Rio+20 conference on the environment in Brazil in June?
In 1992 we hosted the first global environment summit when it was not fashionable to talk about the environment. Twenty years later, we want to evaluate progress and look not just at climate change but also at sustainable development and promotion of a green economy in the context of poverty alleviation. Rio+20 is occurring after the Conference in Durban last year and before the Conference on Biodiversity in New Delhi in October. We want to examine the ecological, economic and social aspects of global climate change. After Copenhagen, Brazil passed a law to reduce its carbon emission by 38 per cent and protect the Amazon rainforest. We need a paradigm shift in the way we define sustainability so that forest-dwellers' rights to a better life can also be ensured.

Read also:
Brazil keen on hydropower

Chinese flavour, Indian curry, SHYAM SARAN
The BRICS summit in New Delhi showed that China is emerging as the pre-eminent partner in the group

1. Vija

Why China and Brazil are so much interested in such a partnership.Look at China in Asia and look at Brazil in American subcontinent.None of them have got the full power in making rules to the world.The better obtion seems to be combined second bests as America itself thinks they are the best etc. and USA can not rule the Europe,neither wants China to be ruled or bent down because of the needs of the country,it is better to work with the second and third and fourth AND SEVENTH  best to have a stable growth and less hassle in dealing with USA ,Europe.What one must understand there is no thread,partnership for making the other succeed,it happens only for one reason ,what it gives to me,China,or Brazil.If anyone for a second believes that it is to improove lives of millions of Nepalis,then forget this utopia.Nothing comes free and nothing comes cheap.Why China is interested more in submerging economies rather than developed?The ansvwer is too obvious,too simple,one can always get a good bargain for the cheap stuff China delivers to such countries.Just an example,compare the import goods China makes,the reason why it has to import such goods,what it exports,towards what economies it is attracted to,why?

Brazil has established itself as the seventh largest economy  on the world stage. The Obama Administration's national security strategy regards

Brazil as an emerging center of influence, whose leadership it welcomes "to pursue progress on

bilateral, hemispheric, and global issues been positive despite Brazil's prioritization of strengthening relations with neighboring countries

and expanding ties with nontraditional partners in the "developing South." Although some

disagreements have emerged, Brazil and the United States continue to engage on a number of

issues, including counternarcotics, counterterrorism, energy security, trade, human rights, and the


Naming this triangle USA-Brazil, China -Brazil explains the interests and actions each of these states take ,having long term goals behind ,using economies in crisis to own advantage.Just an example China rushing to buy Portugal debt,from where the money comes,no one annouces that,but there is always a user and a buyer.Brazil's interest in hydropower,no doubts about it.BRICS is not Anti Western it is only the second bests taking step by step to control the world ,it is not against it,it needs Western world to gain the influence ,and it is doing it .My very simple question why China didn't choose USA,or Japan,why it didn't choose any other small weak economy,why it choose to agree on the combination of BRICS as it is?These are the words Maria Fontenele Reis'We are moving gradually, but solidly, to act together to reform global financial institutions like the World Bank, IMF, re-examine the quota system and look at UN reform.It will certainly be of help to have Zhu Min thus become the second Chinese to take on a senior position in a top ... 19982002: Head, Bank of China M

''With lower spending and higher savings in the advanced economies, key emerging markets must take up the slack and start providing the demand needed to power the global recovery. In some countries, rebalancing is being held back by policies that keep domestic demand growth too slow and currency appreciation too modest.

Other emerging markets, she added, are dealing with dangers from capital inflows that are too rapid (a problem that is particularly evident in Latin America and was the focus of a recent meeting of the Latin American Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee hosted by CGD).

The combination of BRICS is very clear,the reasons behind it's goals are clear too,as we say,there is always a supplier and a buyer,the question is still the same ,integrity is missing on  all levels accross the globe and how you deal with problems still remains the same.It is not even about me or you or any Nepali.

2. B2B

For once,de facto these BRICS countries are more concerned about the asymmetric commercial exchanges amongst them where the hegemony of China through exports has been the much talked of issue. For instance, last year the exports of Brasilia toward Beijing was about 83 percent of raw materials, whereas the imports were skyrocketing at 98 percent of 'Made in China' goods. Equally, Russian exports were about 55 percent of resources of energy. Further, Russians are getting more and more anxious, because of the Chinese unfortunate economic incursion in the eastern part of Russia. There is already a war of words between those who want to straddle an issue by stowing Russia to the EU and those who want to open a vast market with China.

China's secret ambition is to make her currency Yuan or Renminbi (RMB) a currency equal to the USD so that the BRICS countries accept to make it their currency like euro is for the EU. And, by the same token, they should make the Chinese currency their currency of reserve. For that to happen China shall intensify its export influence especially in the BRICS countries.

What's more, India most likely is eager to implant her pharmaceutical sector in China to partake in this gigantic market, albeit it is an uphill task.

A cursory glance at the economic weights of BRICS countries:

1) In world production:

a) Brazil: 2.7 percent-8th largest economy.

b) Russia: 2.1 percent-12th largest economy.

c) India: 2.3 percent-11th largest economy.

d) China: 8.6 percent-2nd largest economy and

e) South Africa: 0.5 percent-27th largest economy.

2) Global Exportation:

a) Brazil: 1.3 percent

b) Russia: 2.5 percent.

c) India: 1.3 percent.

d) China: 13 percent.

If I reveal the plain truth, globalization has robbed blind the Occident of jobs, profits, bank deposits, taxes et al.

It fatigues me to always keep lying about the true nature of its genesis. The more China gets richer the more the Occident becomes poorer.

The heart may know no reason, but our instinct certainly does.

Find out the fulcrum to maintain equilibrium of trades and exchanges lest you possibly head for a clash between the two antagonists namely the Occident and ruthless China any time soon!?!

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)