Building capacity to help Africa trade better

2014 BRICS Joint Statistical Publication


2014 BRICS Joint Statistical Publication

2014 BRICS Joint Statistical Publication

The Fifth Joint Statistical Publication of the BRICS Countries is the result of annual joint efforts of National Statistical Offices (NSOs) of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa since 2010 to disseminate several social and economic data statistics about these countries.

The select data was an issue agreed at the BRICS Leaders Meeting, held in Pretoria, in November 2013 and in the 6th Technical Meeting of NSOs in Rio de Janeiro, in February 2014. This work is a challenge and each year the BRICS Countries get advances in the project to achieve its goal which is the harmonization of statistical information about the group.

Brazil will be host the first meeting of the second cycle of BRICS Summits and responsible to implement the activities of the Action Plan of the group for 2014-2015 period. Therefore the National Statistical Office of Brazil (IBGE) assumed the role of compiling, printing and distribution of the Fifth Joint Statistical Publication of the BRICS Countries and development a collaborative system to disseminate the statistics of the BRICS based in the publication in this first moment.

The present publication was published during the Sixth BRICS Summit that was held on 15 July 2014 in Fortaleza City, Brazil. The BRICS National Statistical Offices are certain that the joint development work will be an important tool for public policies and researchers.

Download: BRICS Joint Statistical Publication 2014 (PDF)

The BRICS and trade union action: issues for discussion

A related publication was prepared for the Sixth BRICS Summit by Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT) Brasil. Below is an extract from the Presentation by João Antônio Felício, International Relations Secretary:

The 6th Summit of Heads of State and Government of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), held in Brazil, launches the second cycle of high level meetings of this bloc of countries. Since it appeared in 2001, as a concept linked to the financial market, which at that time underscored the growing weight of the so-called emerging economies of the BRIC (then still without the inclusion of South Africa), a steady process of coordination between these countries was established. According to the market view that gave rise to the term, BRIC was solely an economic, and not political, group because of the great heterogeneity of its members.

At the governmental level, however, the development of new diplomatic concepts and strategies was already being envisaged by some of these governments translated into intergovernmental mechanisms like the IBSA (India, Brazil, and South Africa) and the BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India, and China). We may say that, at least in the case of Brazil, since 2002 the Brazilian government was already trying to step up its relations with several countries in Africa (through the opening of new embassies), and with China and Russia, with the aim of building new trade and development strategies that did not rely so much on the United States-European Union-Japan axis.

The adhesion of South Africa to the bloc in 2011 was the turning point for the financial market’s economically- biased perspective, since from a strictly economic point of view South Africa is not at the same level as the other BRIC countries. South Africa’s adhesion signaled a clear political position toward the creation of a new South-South counter-power axis, boosting the BRICS political and geoGraphic representation before the other countries of the Global South, as the BRICS established a much closer relation with the African Continent.

While the political coordination between the member countries increased somewhat rapidly, intra-BRICS trade e flows are still relatively low today, with a clear prevalence of each of its member’s trade with China. The fact that this flow is low is one of the main arguments used, especially by the big media, to criticize the BRICS. Yet, it is worth highlighting that, as trade financing and science and technology exchange, direct cooperation, mechanisms are set in place, this setting is bound to change.

The progress we have made so far cannot be underrated. Now we have arrived at the 3rd BRICS Trade Union Forum with unity-driven actions and a document, plus a better mutual understanding of our trade union centers than we had a couple of years ago. Still, we can advance much more. The demand for an official labor participation space in the BRICS will surely provide us with a common platform of understanding, which, once consolidated, will open up new prospects for the deepening of our relations in the near future. We must work together so that the BRICS does not become yet another international initiative that fails to listen to the workers. On the contrary, we are fully convinced that that with our active participation n in and specialized contribution to the debate regarding the development of the BRICS countries we will be able to help build a bloc that does actually represent a sustainable development model, socially just, and a counter-hegemonic alternative to the problematic international order in place since the post-war period.

Download: The BRICS and trade union action: issues for discussion (PDF)


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