The BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — gather for a summit this week in Durbin to talk about how they can reshape global economics.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vision for the BRICS is a transformation from ‘major emerging economies . . . into a greater geopolitical force.’
On the agenda are his plans for a joint foreign exchange reserves pool and an infrastructure bank. Those will be used to fund trade and business projects coordinated by a soon-to-be-launched BRICS Business Council, according to ITAR-TASS.
Will Putin’s plan work?
One big obstacle may be corruption.
The BRICS rank well down the Corruption Perceptions Index.
Brazil is 69, Russia is 133, India is 94, China is 80, and South Africa is also 69. Together their average rank is 89.
While the BRICS’ money might be welcome in the developing world, no one wants to import their corrupt practices.
And no doubt the OECD and developed economies are already looking for ways to keep black money from the BRICS out of the hands of corrupt regimes.
One test this week in Durbin: Will Putin or other leaders talk about their graft problem and how to fix it?
If they don’t, expect lots of outside opposition to any plans for a BRICS-led global economic transformation.