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BRICS should expand cooperation in fighting COVID-19, reviving economy, say experts

(Xinhua)    11:20, November 19, 2020

BRASILIA, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- The BRICS countries should step up cooperation in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and resuming the global economy, Brazilian experts said after the bloc of five major emerging economies held a summit via video on Tuesday.

BRICS should strongly commit to improving global health systems and assisting the World Health Organization in its efforts to fight the pandemic, Mauricio Santoro, a professor on international relations at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, told Xinhua, adding that the production and distribution of vaccines being developed by China and Russia can play a key role in that push.

The idea behind the creation of BRICS is that developing countries will become increasingly important to the world economy, he said.

Partnerships and dialogues between the BRICS members and countries taking part in the Belt and Road Initiative for global growth are another prominent aspect of stepped up cooperation, especially given the importance of promoting multilateralism in both economic and social matters, said the expert. "All this will be essential to resume the growth of the world economy."

Bilateral cooperation between Brazil and China already has a solid foundation due to the strong economic ties between the two countries, said Santoro.

"The important thing is to broaden this dialogue to other areas such as culture," he said, adding that "there is a lot of room to improve this dialogue and deepen partnerships in film, literature and education."

Alexandre Ganan de Brites Figueiredo, author and director of the Global South Institute, believes that the union of efforts and common interests, which has represented BRICS from the beginning, is the best answer to the challenges presented by the pandemic.

The 12th BRICS Summit is "certainly another step towards recovery," although it is also "important to note that the BRICS (countries) have already demonstrated that they have their own institutional means to help themselves overcome the crisis," said Brites.

This year, even before the summit, the New Development Bank made a large loan available to help partner countries fight the COVID-19, with Brazil, China, Russia, India and South Africa already benefiting from this important support, said the expert, noting that the loan Brazil received was essential to provide financial aid to vulnerable segments of the population, which shows that BRICS already enjoys significant bonds of cooperation.

"It is one more initiative of multilateral cooperation within the BRICS framework. For all these reasons, it is expected that this month's summit will bring more initiatives in the same direction and contribute to consolidating the bloc as an important development channel for the member countries," Brites said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)

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