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Interview: BRICS carries global weight as champion of multilateralism, says expert

(Xinhua)    11:19, November 13, 2019

BRASILIA, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- The emerging-market bloc of BRICS carries global weight as a champion of multilateralism and against protectionism, Brazilian political analyst Mauricio Santoro has said.

BRICS "is important to international politics because, among other things, it represents a voice in favor of multilateralism and stable rules, and against economic and trade protectionism," Santoro told Xinhua ahead of the upcoming 11th summit of the group, which gathers Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

"For China as well as Brazil, international institutions and multilateralism are very important," as they provide a consensus-driven, rules-based environment for cooperation and trade, said Santoro, an international relations professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.

"The United Nations and the World Trade Organization create rules that apply to all countries" and "there are stable regulations the whole world has to abide by," he added.

This legal framework "facilitates international trade, investment and the development of each country," said the scholar.

However, over recent years, especially since the 2008 financial crisis, "we see several countries acting individually ... and that makes the world more unstable and more difficult," Santoro said.

This instability "creates incentives for countries to try to break the rules. That's not good for anyone," he said. "In the short term, perhaps some country can gain a certain advantage by doing that, but in the medium term, we all lose."

"The challenge facing BRICS countries is how they can continue to work together, to respond to the current scenario ... and to change and adapt to the changing circumstances," said the political observer.

"BRICS is here to stay," said Santoro. "It is a vital sign of the new world order, where Asia again plays a very significant role in global affairs, and opportunities are generated for other developing countries."

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