The Analytical Center has hosted a round table on the BRICS nations, their development stages and traps they are facing, during which experts reviewed the economic growth models used in the various BRICS nations, discussed the challenges and development prospects of their energy sector, features of their social structure and opportunities for cooperation in science and education.
"Each BRICS nation has its unique specifics; South Africa has the highest social inequality in the world and Brazil and China are not far behind. They're all stuck in the middle income trap," said the chief adviser to the head of the Analytical Center Leonid Grigoriev. In his opinions, these countries need to push towards social stability and a developed market. "While they're following this path, it is hard going. But at this stage there can be no smooth sailing forward for any of them, and the developed nations had to push through this stage with difficulty," the expert explained.
Mr. Grigoriev also noted that there is no simple theory for how a country can get out of the middle income 'trap' and go on to become a stable democracy with appreciable GDP per capita. "The sustainable development goals can be achieved through the best institutions and practices as well as by coordinating efforts in trade, investments, education, R&D and politics," the analyst believes.
Analytical Center expert Victoria Pavlushina talked about social inequality in the BRICS nations. "One of the sustainable development goals is more equality between countries and within them. It's a most topical issue for all of the countries, especially for South Africa and India. All of the BRICS nations have prioritized this problem," the expert said. “Eradicating poverty and poorness is also high on the agenda of these countries,” Victoria Pavlushina noted.
"South Africa still has a lot of inequality, even though they have managed to reduce it. Household incomes were growing until 2008 but then they started falling due to declining economic growth," the expert said. Besides, South Africa has the shortest life expectancy among all the BRICS nations, resulting from high mortality rates.
"In 2015 the BRICS countries together accounted for more than 1/3 of the global extraction and 36% of the global consumption of energy. A fifth of this consumption was in China," said Analytical Center expert Vlada Brilliantova. According to the analyst, the share of primary energy consumption can reach 45% by 2040. The growing demands of the energy sector, especially in India and China, have to be taken into account, the expert believes.
"On the whole, the energy sectors in the BRICS nations vary in resources, supplies and goals that their economies are striving to achieve. Thus, Russia is the largest energy exporter most interested in consistent energy sales, while Brazil would need serious investments before it can begin to export oil," Vlada Brilliantova said.
The participants in the discussion noted that the sustainable development goals had replaced the millennium overall development goal. These include innovative development, social, economic, energy and environmental programs.