The Presidents and Prime Ministers of Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa have just returned from the annual BRICS summit, held this year in Brasilia. At the close of the event, the five leaders jointly issued a declaration of intent, part of the content which I covered in the article BRICS 2019 Summit Declaration. A key point of that declaration is the shared intent by the BRICS nations to "Coordinate actions at a global level to reach maximum economic growth."
This is a significant statement. By IMF estimates, the BRICS nations will account for over 50% of global GDP by 2030. Their influence is seen in many areas. In 2016, Russia became the largest wheat exporter in the world. China has the world's largest industrial and manufacturing capacity. India is to the fore of the scientific, technological and pharmaceutical fields. Brazil is endowed with abundant mineral, water, biological and ecological resources, and South Africa abounds in natural resources.
However, although the BRICS group is important, in itself it is not a trade bloc. That said, each of the member states have significant influence over significant global Free Trade or Preferential Trade areas. These are the entities:
Mercosur is a Free Trade area including Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and accounts for almost three-fourths of the total economic activity in South America. It is the world's fourth largest trading bloc after EU, NAFTA, and ASEAN, with an annual GDP of about US$ 5 trillion. Mercosur is home to more than 250 million people. The Mercosur bloc already has preferential trade agreements with India which I discussed partially in the article Linking India With Mercosur and the Southern African Customs Union, while I explained the potential for FTA with the Eurasian Economic Union in the article Linking The Eurasian Economic Union With Mercosur, and with China in the article Linking China's Belt & Road Initiative With Mercosur. Brazil is the dominant partner.
Russia: The Eurasian Economic Union
The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, has a population of 183 million and a GDP of US$5 trillion. It effectively sits in the geographic landmass between the European Union and China. It is also attracting FTA from other countries; Iran, Serbia, Singapore and Vietnam all have FTA with the EAEU as does China. In the case of the Chinese, the FTA is not yet preferential and tariff...