On February 12, 2016, CGEG hosted the 5th Annual BRICLab Conference titled BRICS 2.0: Challenges of Global Governance and Growth.
Just five years ago, the notion of BRICS and their emergence in the global economy was largely positive—today, the discourse suggests a reality that is strikingly different. Despite the overwhelming growth that each of the five countries have experienced in past years, growth has begun to wane and many pundits have begun to suggest that BRICS are on the decline.
At the 5th Annual BRICLab Conference, CGEG brought together leading professionals and academics to discuss BRICS and the challenges they face as an economic bloc in an increasingly globalized world. Both panels were moderated by David Fergusson, Co-Chief Executive Officer of the M&A Advisor.
The first panel was a discussion about markets and growth. Robin Wigglesworth, US Markets Editor noted that the fundamental problem of BRICS is a “structural problem” and that writ-large, “emerging world markets are in a bit of a crisis.” All panelists agreed that the social, economic, and political changes in each country have global and geopolitical implications. Iain Donald, Senior Manager at Control Risks highlighted that currency volatility and fiscal pressures are increasing and that we should be concerned about how these pressures might impact global economic growth.
Discussants noted that BRICS promote a multipolar world and strive to heavily influence the global political economy. Despite the difficulties that BRICS have faced on the global landscape, hallmarks such as the opening of their New Development Bank offer a degree of optimism, especially for future sustainable development initiatives in BRICS countries and other low-and middle-income countries who may apply for funding.
The conference closed with a discussion BRICS in the context of geoeconomics and geopolitics, during which Alexis Crow, the Director of the Geopolitical Resilience Practice at PwC stated that “it is imperative for us to diminish the fear factor if we are in favor of opportunities for economic growth.”
Despite the disagreement about where BRICS are headed, the bottom line is that their success, as is the case with any developing country, relies heavily on the quality of governance and how they respond the social, economic, and political forces within the global political economy.
Jerrel Baker, MIA '17