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Commentary: BRICS of gold still glitters

Editor: zhenglimin 丨Xinhua

09-04-2016 21:22 BJT

Full coverage: G20 Hangzhou Summit

HANGZHOU, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Despite new challenges for BRICS, their economies still have huge potential and the mechanism is still full of vitality.

On Sunday, leaders of the BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- held an informal meeting on the sidelines of the ongoing G20 summit in Hangzhou.

As leading forces of emerging-market economies and developing countries, they should reinforce coordination to make emerging-market economies and developing countries play a bigger role in international affairs, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the meeting.

Coined by former Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill in 2001, the term "BRIC" referred to Brazil, Russia, India and China, four emerging markets with faster growth and greater potential.

In 2009, leaders from the four countries held their first official meeting in Yekaterinburg, Russia. In 2010, South Africa joined the group, and the acronym was changed to BRICS.

In Chinese, the mechanism was translated into four characters with the literal meaning of "gold brick countries," partly to convey the meaning of their promising future.

As the Chinese saying goes, pure gold fears no fire.

Those countries have showed no fear of the crucible from a lackluster world economy but demonstrated to the world what they could achieve by pooling their capabilities.

Originating at the height of the global financial crisis, the BRICS had been the envy of the world in the first few years due to their galloping growth that was faster than the rest of the world.

However, affected by protracted sluggish world recovery and dropping commodity prices in the recent years, lingering slowdown and even depression began to haunt the economies.

The World Bank forecast that the Russian and Brazilian economies may shrink by 1.2 percent and 4 percent respectively this year, even though China and India are likely to maintain fast growth.

Despite the new challenges, BRICS members still enjoy abundant natural and human resources, vast markets, huge growth potential and bright prospects from their policy coordination.

Facing new situations, the BRICS must be confident in themselves and realize the vitality of emerging-market economies and developing countries they represent, Xi said.

At the BRICS meeting, leaders agreed on the prospects and momentum of their economies and the fact that they will continue to be strong engines of the world economy.

The countries are also committed to promoting emerging economies and developing countries to play a bigger role in international affairs and global governance, which will contribute to building a robust and more balanced global economy.

With their solidarity and openness, the "gold content" of the BRICS will continue to rise in the long haul.

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