Recently, Dr Steinbock was interviewed on the rise of the BRICS and the multipolar world by Marcello Iannarelli, editor in chief of World Geostrategic Insights (WGI). The lengthy interview was released by WGI on Dec. 8, 2023: https://www.wgi.world/brics-could-a-more-inclusive-and-equitable-multipolar-world-take-shape-an-interview-with-dan-steinbock/ In the interview, Dr Steinbock also explains the parallels and differences between the economic BRICs and the BRICS countries, as well as the implications of the initial BRIC concept by Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs and his own views on the economic rise of the Global South.
Here a few samples:
Is global governance really still primarily in the hands of the Western highly industrialized and developed countries?
A1 – Yes, it is. These countries still dominate the global economy, international relations, and military might. They control global finance and technology. And they enjoy high incomes. But it is their past that accounts for their present power. The future no longer belongs to them exclusively. The future will have to be shared.
In 2000, the economies of the major advanced nations of the West, as reflected by the G7, were still almost ten times bigger than the BRICs. However, the 2008 global crisis sped up their relative erosion. Today, their lead has shrunk to about a third. By the early 2030s, it will decrease to a tenth. And by the mid-2030 or so, the aggregate economic power of the BRICS will exceed that of the G7 – assuming the international status quo will remain relatively peaceful, which is no longer assured.
Neither the BRICS nor the large emerging economies overall want to “subvert” the world order. Rather, they seek to foster one, vis-à-vis economic, political and defense diversification. Current global arrangements must not reflect just the interests of the West that represents about a tenth of the world population. They must also reflect the aspirations of the multipolar world in which global growth prospects are driven by the large emerging economies. Excluding one set of countries at the expense of the other is a dead-end.
Unwarranted trade wars and geopolitics to contain China undermine development and the rise of the Global South overall, as evidenced by the cold realities of de-globalization, the rise of far-right and xenophobia, series of new wars, and the soaring numbers of the globally displaced. Hence, the need for more humane BRICS futures.
Malaysia: Anwar Ibrahim’s First Year in Power
Recently, Dr Steinbock was also interviewed by the Singapore-based Massita Ahmad, from Bernama, the Malaysian National News Agency. The interview examined the Anwar Ibrahim administration’s first year in power. It was published by Bernama as “Anwar Ibrahim’s administration offers vital lessons to the West, Global South,” on December 6, 2023.
Here just a few samples:
In the coming quarters, economic recovery is likely to be gradual. This has less to do with Malaysia than with the impact of the weakening global demand and restrictive monetary conditions. Both factors have adverse implications worldwide; particularly in relatively open, trading commodity exporters, including Malaysia. In such conditions, Malaysia’s expected real GDP growth of about 3.9% in 2023 is a decent response in the dire international environment.
Malaysia has also a lot of tacit development experience that could be vital in the coming years. Today, emerging economies in the Global South drive global growth, yet global governance remains in the hands of the West. That’s untenable. Malaysian efforts of inclusive growth offer important lessons to the West and the rest of the Global South alike.
The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.