BRICS nations gird to pressure West over imbalances
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The BRICS group of emerging market nations will look at ways of pressuring the West to redress global economic imbalances amid growing frustration at the pace of change in institutions such as the IMF at a meeting in Delhi on Thursday.
Brazil's Trade and Industry Minister Fernando Pimentel said on the eve of the meeting his country hopes for a summit communique denouncing what it sees as unfair monetary policies by Europe and the United States.
Other trade ministers from the BRICS group - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - struck a defiant tone, saying they are not bound by unilateral sanctions against Iran.
The five nations, who collectively account for nearly half the world's population and a fifth of economic output, are expected to announce steps to bring their economies closer together, including linking their stock exchanges and plans for a joint development fund in the mold of the World Bank.
We would look to see promises of reforms at multilateral institutions like the World Bank and IMF getting translated into action, a senior Indian official with knowledge of the matter said, adding that India would consult with other BRICS countries during the summit.
The group is often criticised for being too diverse to be effective, but Jim O'Neill, the Goldman Sachs economist who coined the acronym in 2001, said the very fact they meet is a message to the world.
It is a very powerful reminder to the G7 and the Western powers that they need to get their act together in giving up more space and room in the G20, IMF and World Bank. It serves a really good purpose in that sense, said O'Neill.
Security was tight in Delhi after an activist set himself on fire in protest at Chinese rule in Tibet, dying from his injuries just hours before China's President Hu Jintao arrived.
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