PUTIN: THE FATHER OF BRIC
Goldman Sachs global economist, Jim O’Neill may have conceived the acronym, BRIC. But, it was the then Russian President Vladimir Putin with his insightful vision who orchestrated the meeting between the four emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) on the sidelines of a UN General Assembly meeting in September 2006. Basically, President Putin gave birth and vitality to BRIC’s existence.
President Putin politically, strategically, and successfully got the four emerging economies together. As a result of his geopolitical and geostrategic craftsmanship of merging the four economies together at a UN sideline meeting, he indirectly created the most economically powerful emerging alliance in the future. President Putin is also indirectly responsible for the G-20 and global investors watching BRIC. We may as well say he has given BRIC leadership, think-tanks, and central bankers the ‘self-confidence’ needed to forge ahead.
After the global economic crisis of the fall of 2008, Russia was the first BRIC economy to step up and host the first BRIC summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia in June 2009. As he hosted BRIC’s first summit, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called for a reserve currency that would replace the volatile, weak US dollar.
Since 2009 Brazil stepped up and hosted the second BRIC summit in June 2010. Former President Lula da Silva of Brazil along with his Finance Minister, Guido Mantega have been pro-active in making Brazil’s membership and contribution a success. Brazil has worked hard in the BRIC economic alliance to make the alliance a true success.
The then Russian President Putin probably knew politically and economically that an economic alliance of BRIC economies would be successful and prosper given its total population, combined GDP, BRIC agricultural production, natural resources of Brazil and Russia, and the enormous mutual trading arrangements among the four economies. The mutual trading arrangements are already occurring among the BRICs. He also probably knew there would be differences given two of the BRICs (Brazil and Russia) were commodity suppliers and the other two BRICs (India and China) were buyers of their commodities. However, the four economies have managed to resolve their differences and move the alliance forward.
With his arrangement of the sideline meeting of the four nations in 2006, the then Russian President Putin has spearheaded the advancement of other emerging economies of some G20 countries.
Since 2009, Russia has been the most vocal of the BRIC nations calling for quitting the US dollar as the global reserve currency. In fact, both Russia and China have been using each other’s currency in mutual trading transactions since 2009 and 2010. Both BRIC economies are using each other’s currency to satisfy mutual accounts payable and receivable transactions between the two BRIC economies. It has been Putin’s geopolitical and geostrategic vision that has taken the BRIC alliance to a new level.
Pamela Seaton is the commentator and writer of this article. She has developed courses and lectured on BRIC issues. Pamela can be reached at: email@example.com.