Leaders from Brazil, Russia, India and China, four of the world's emerging big economies known collectively as 'BRIC', meet on Tuesday in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg to discuss their ambitions for economic growth.
AFP - Leaders from emerging giants Brazil, Russia, India and China were to meet Tuesday for the first summit of their informal grouping, showing unity in the face of a sharp global slowdown.
Dubbed the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China), the forum will be seeking to show that their ambitions for economic growth remain intact, despite the impact of the worst economic crisis of modern times.
Presidents Dmitry Medvedev of Russia, Hu Jintao of China, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were to meet in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg for their first official four-way meeting.
The idea for the BRIC grouping was spawned after research by US investment bank Goldman Sachs suggested the four economies were developing at such pace they could be amongst the world's strongest by 2050.
It remains to be seen whether the quartet will agree to create a more official format for the grouping, an idea that was never anticipated when the original research was undertaken.
Yekaterinburg, a city some 1,420 kilometers (880 miles) east of Moscow in the Ural Mountains, was previously best known abroad as the site of the execution of Tsar Nicolas II and his family by the Bolsheviks in 1918.
The summit is due to begin at 5:30 pm (1130 GMT), just after Russia wraps up hosting a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) -- which is dominated by Moscow and Beijing -- in the same city.
Russia has taken a leading role in promoting BRIC, evidently happy with the idea that it remains an economic force despite seeing its high growth rates of recent years savaged by the worst global economic crisis since the 1930s.
Analysts say that despite the economic crisis, BRIC nations are displaying a growing willingness to coordinate their efforts to counter US global domination through the dollar.
The BRIC states are expected to be major buyers of the very first bonds that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is working to issue.
This is in line with commitments by developed and developing economies to provide 1.1 trillion dollars to the IMF and other global bodies to help the poor through the crisis.
China has said it is considering buying up to 50 billion dollars' worth of the new financial instrument, while Russia and Brazil could buy up to 10 billion dollars each.
Both Russia and China have in recent months come out in favour of revamping global financial structures, saying there is a need for a new supra-national currency besides the dollar to prevent a repeat of the global economic crisis.
Moscow in particular has sharply criticised the dollar's role as the dominant global reserve currency.
Of the major economies, powerhouse China is seen as having the best shot at eclipsing the United States as the world's largest market.
Chinese President Hu Jintao flaunted his country's influence at the Shanghai meeting earlier, saying Beijing would extend a 10 billion dollar credit to member states help them overcome the financial crisis.
"China has taken a decision to extend to the organisation a credit worth 10 billion dollars to help maintain financial stability, making its contribution to efforts by member countries in the fight against the crisis," said Hu.
Poorer members Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have been hit hard by the crisis and analysts believe China is seeking to increase its influence in impoverished but highly strategic Central Asia.
The BRIC leaders first met informally on the sidelines of a Group of Eight major economies summit in Toyako, Japan, last year.
Date created : 2009-06-16