BRICS and the G20: cooperation in context
Contrary to frequently voiced assertions about the competitive relationship between the BRICS group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and the G20 (as well as some other international institutions), the relationship between these two groups is unequivocally not one of contestation, but of pragmatic support. BRICS accepts the G20 as a central forum for policy coordination and political dialogue on international economic and financial matters. It cooperates with and within the G20 to attain its shared goals of economic growth, reform of the international financial regulatory system and Bretton Woods institutions, and a more equitable and just world.
A study of BRICS discourse provides ample evidence. BRICS refers to the G20 in most of the documents issued by the leaders and by ministers of finance and central bank governors. The total number of references in all BRICS documents has reached 69, second only to the 144 references to the United Nations, which BRICS also considers essential for multilateral efforts dealing with global challenges and threats. This approach is not reciprocated by the G20, however, which has mentioned BRICS only once – in its 2011 Action Plan to Support the Development of Local Currency Bond Markets.