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BRICS could be world game changer, stabilizer: Russian expert


16:25, March 26, 2013

MOSCOW, March 26 (Xinhua) -- BRICS, a new global phenomenon, could become "a world game changer and stabilizer," head of a prominent Russian think tank has said.

"The development of BRICS in the last several years is remarkably dynamic and widely recognized," Georgy Toloraya, executive director of BRICS Research National Committee, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Speaking of the BRICS summit to be held in South Africa's port city of Durban on March 26-27, Toloraya said a wide range of issues would be on the table and some important decisions were expected.

"The leaders will discuss, first of all, the development of SA (South Africa) and the (African) continent as the theme this year is 'BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialization'," he noted.

China, as Toloraya put it, has been a key contributor to Africa's development.

"Some people say (China is) pervasive while I think not," he said, adding that the BRICS countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, could make joint efforts to promote the development of Africa, rather than competing with each other.

Other topics such as global governance, international financial architecture and cultural exchange would also be discussed, he said.

"We are in the process of establishing the guidelines for the future of BRICS, and it does have very sound potential to become an important factor in international affairs," the expert said.

As to the probable establishment of a BRICS development bank, Toloraya said the new institution would be "the first step to unify economic policies of the five emerging economies."

If it comes into being, the mission of the bank at the first stage is not to finance some projects, but to develop a joint vision of BRICS, he said.

Toloraya acknowledged the BRICS countries may still have differences over the future bank.

"We don't close our eyes on the contradictions, but those will not prevent the BRICS countries from developing closer relations. Actually, bilateral friction can, in a way, give additional impetus to the organization's creating and functioning abilities," Toloraya said.

Consultations and discussions are important when differences arise among the BRICS members since each country has its national interests.

"There is no leader, or dominant power in BRICS," he added.

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