The jury is still out on whether the Brics can forge a meaningful trade agenda, writes Peter Draper DON’T talk to me about giblets," International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoane-Mashabane reportedly said during last week’s Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) business summit. This remark reveals several things about the nature of the Brics forum, and co-operation on trade matters in particular.The fact that Nkoane-Mashabane’s department leads on Brics matters places the grouping squarely in the geopolitical realm. Brics presidential summitry revolves around United Nations (UN) Security Council co-operation, and co-ordination in the Group of 20 (G-20) heads of states’ global economic agenda, although the core of the economic agenda lies in the hands of finance ministries and central banks. Central to the Brics endeavour is the desire to forge a developing country group capable of resisting the dominance of the Group of Seven (G-7) developed countrie...

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