Like the efforts to set up a BRICS Development Bank, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa should also establish an international credit rating agency to offset the biased agendas of some of the rating agencies, said former Union Commerce and Home Secretary G.K. Pillai on Tuesday.
Pillai, now a Distinguished Fellow and the RK Mishra Chair at Observer Research Foundation, said this was necessary to control what he called the “skewed information inflows” in the world.
Chairing a seminar on “BRICS Trade, Investment and Finance Corporation”, organised by Observer Research Foundation and CUTS International, Pillai said “the control of intelligence and information is so biased in many ways. We have international credit rating agencies like Moodys and Standard and Poor so on that come out with reports that have immediate impact on countries”.
“I really don’t see why we are do not get together to set up our own rating agencies which could independently assess, because the timing of the report itself lends suspicions that there is an agenda behind the timing of the report,” Pillai said pointing out India’s experiences in setting up various institutions like banks and stock exchanges.
“With Head of States achieving a good rapport in the past few years”, Pillai hoped that BRICS are now capable of establishing institutions to check the “skewed information inflows, skewed trade flows and the skewed nature of the financing systems in the world today”.
Articulating a “Long Term Vision for BRICS”, Dinesh Bhatia, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, pointed out the BRICS pledge of fund to the EU to help come out of the eurozone crisis and said BRICS was emerging as a factor of stability and growth. He said in the foreseeable future, the role of BRICS countries in shaping global economy and global governance is only going to increase.
Zhotan Khuma of the Ministry of Commerce explained the ministry’s work in identifying areas of cooperation that would be mutually beneficial to the BRICS economies. “SME’s are one particular area of cooperation that we have identified to be crucial” he said.
Dr. Usha Titus, Director, Ministry of Finance, addressed the technical challenges of the proposed BRICS Development Bank. Focusing on infrastructure, she pointed out the inability of the existing MDBs to fully respond to the needs of emerging economies. She presented some of the key challenges and issues to be tackled by the working group for the Development Bank.
Bandi Ram Prasad, representing Financial Technologies Knowledge Management Co. Ltd, highlighted the individual strengths of each BRICS economy in driving regional growth and enhancing market integration
Sunjoy Joshi, Director, ORF, highlighted “the significance of the evolving BRICS partnership,” emphasizing the need to deliberate on the key building blocks of intra-BRICS trade.
Pradeep Mehta, the Secretary General of CUTS International, spoke of the need for a “new architecture for global governance” and reiterated the importance of BRICS in enhancing south-south cooperation..