News Release

Beyond Greece: BRICS Enabling a New Economic Path? 


From Left to Right: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and South African President Jacob Zuma

SAMEER DOSSANI, Sameer.Dossani at, @sameerdossani
Dossani is advocacy coordinator at ActionAid International. He said today: “This week as Europe deals with the fallout from the recent Greek referendum, one thing has become clearer than ever: the old economic orthodoxy is dead. What’s less clear is whether a new and more sensible framework may be on its way and whether BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — may be able to play a role in ushering it in.

“The BRICS are having their annual summit in Ufa, Russia this week. Prime ministers of the BRICS bloc have been meeting annually since the 2007-08 financial crisis and issuing statements on global political and economic affairs.

“This year’s event will see the launch of the BRICS ‘New Development Bank’ (NDB). Heralded as an alternative to the World Bank (the BRICS has already set up an alternative IMF), the NDB is being touted as a way to bring much-needed financing to the infrastructure and energy sectors of developing countries. The African continent in particular has been singled out as having an infrastructure deficit which the NDB could help resolve. But whether the New Development Bank will really bring about a new development model remains to be seen.

“The NDB could offer a new model if it does not follow the exploitative ways of those who controlled the old development model. First, it should be about real development and not just exporting raw materials, a fate to which most developing countries remain tied. Next, it should abide by principles of transparency and democracy so that trade unions, NGOs and social movements are also part of the development process. Last, it should ensure that it doesn’t harm those its intended to benefit. This means strong safeguards and a strong accountability mechanism so that those who may have been wronged have a way to seek justice.”

ActionAid was one of many development, environmental and human rights groups that recently signed a letter “The BRICS NDB: Four principles to make the New Development Bank truly new.”