Brics News

Brazil’s New President Wants To Be Part Of The U.S. Satellite Launching Business

The Brazilian press calls their new president, Jair Bolsonaro, the “Tropical Trump.” Bolsonaro got that name for his strong nationalist approach to governing and his love for Donald Trump. The two men don’t know each other, but that will change once Jair joins Trump’s Washington reality show. Bolsonaro thinks getting closer to Trump will help his domestic growth agenda. Mr. Bolsonaro is on his way to Washington to firm up the deal former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis gave Brazil before Trump fired him. According to several Brazilian news reports, Brazil and the U.S. reached an accord to safeguard United States space technology. The South American nation wants the U.S. to use their Alcantara Air Force base to send commercial rockets into space. The Alcantara base sits near the equator, and in the satellite launching business that’s a plus. Bolsonaro wants to put the finishing touches on that accord when he meets his hero in Washington. If Bolsonaro has his way, Brazil would get a piece of the $300 billion-a-year satellite launching business that U.S. companies support. Using the Alcantara base would save those companies money. Each satellite launch would cost 30 percent less in fuel costs and the rockets can carry a bigger payload.

The Lockheed Martin Corporation executives, as well as Boeing officials, went to Alcantara to check out the base. Those executives say the base is a great location for smaller companies in the satellite launching business. But in order for this new space accord to work, a technology safeguard agreement has to be in place after Bolsonaro’s Washington visit. Bolsonaro believes Brazil and Trump can work together even though Brazil is a member of the BRICS nations. BRICS want to set up their own financial system to circumvent the global financial system the U.S. controls. Russia, India, China, and South Africa are also members of BRICS. When the BRICS financial system is in place, those countries can do business with each other without worrying about the sanctions Trump likes to impose on countries that don’t believe in Trumponomics.

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Russia, China to buy 10 percent in Onexim Group's mining company

Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund said on Thursday it had completed a joint deal with the Russia-China Investment fund and a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund to acquire a 9.53 stake in Russian mining company Intergeo. Intergeo, a part of Onexim Group, which manages the assets of Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, is developing its Kingash deposit in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region and Ak-Sug deposit in the southern Siberian Tuva region. RDIF said it and its partners were joining the project and that total investments aimed at developing the fields and constructing associated infrastructure would exceed 178 billion roubles ($2.72 billion). Kingash, Russia’s second largest nickel deposit, is expected to start production in 2024, while Ak-Sug, one of Russia’s top-5 copper reserves, is expected to start in 2023, RDIF said. RDIF said in January it was planning to set up a new company to supply base metals to China from an existing deposit that had been untapped for a long time.

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Made in India missiles big hit! Countries across the globe show interest in buying BrahMos, Akash

India’s lacklustre effort to sell indigenously developed missiles has helped neighbouring China to boost its export prospects of its weapons system to potential buyers, which New Delhi has been eyeing. The government has been receiving proposals for the Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos Missile from as diverse as ASEAN countries, South American nation Chile and South Africa which is a member of the BRICS Grouping. The BrahMos has been developed at a low budget of $300 million. ASEAN nations have approached India seeking to purchase major defence and weapon systems from India, including the Akash and BrahMos missiles. Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos is also in discussions with other countries, including Philippines, South Korea, Algeria, Greece, Malaysia, Thailand, Egypt, Singapore, and Bulgaria. Despite interests from the ASEAN countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines for buying the BrahMos missiles, informed sources have indicated that “The deals could not be finalised with any of the ASEAN countries as New Delhi did not want to antagonise China which is already exporting to countries in the region including Pakistan.” “India has never exported any weapons systems, except armaments ordnance, which is not real defence exports,” explained a senior officer on condition of anonymity. Says Amit Cowshish, former Financial Advisor (Acquisition), Ministry of Defence, “We are not a significant exporter of arms mainly because we have very little exportable military equipment.” Some of the countries from the ASEAN region as well Gulf countries have also expressed interest in buying ‘Akash’ missile designed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and produced by defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), has an interception range of 25-km, which are meant to keep fighter aircraft, helicopters and drones from attacking critical installations.

India has consciously tried to balance its relationship in the Middle East and has so far not finalised deal for any system in the region and the same for the South American region. Lot of interest was generated in the South American region after the successful launch of BrahMos from SU-30 aircraft against a sea target, as many countries have opted for the Sukhoi aircraft from Russia. BrahMos is a short-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land and is a joint venture between Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia and the DRDO.

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Construction Chemicals Market in APAC Will Expand with a Significant CAGR of 9% by 2024

Rapidly escalating infrastructure spending across BRICS countries will be an important factor that will catalyze the global construction chemicals market in the coming years. Asia Pacific construction chemicals industry is expected to record a CAGR of 9% over the period from 2016 to 2024, having collected a revenue of USD 14 billion in 2015. China construction sector, estimated at USD 1.7 trillion in 2015, is expected to boost the regional growth. India and Japan are the few of the other countries of APAC, which are expected to make significant contributions towards the regional revenue, having attained a collective revenue of over USD 1 billion in 2015. Europe construction chemicals market, estimated at USD 4.5 billion in 2015, is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8% during the next seven years. Large-scale use of protective coatings in residential & commercial constructions to build fire resistance will add to the revenue. Mounting need for renovating heritage buildings will boost the demand for sealants and adhesives.

Construction sector is surging at a rapid pace across BRICS nations, making vital contributions towards Construction Chemicals Market revenue. Thriving APAC construction industry will positively influence the business with China displaying strong growth trends. High preference for weather resistant and earthquake resistant buildings will provide construction chemicals industry players with new opportunities for exploring untapped markets. Escalated government focus on improving the infrastructure and constructing eco-friendly houses will stimulate construction chemicals industry growth. As per the European commission, buildings consume nearly 40% of overall energy and account for over 30% of total carbon dioxide emissions. Ability of construction chemicals to reduce the GHG emissions will result in high market demand. According to Global Market Insights reports, "Construction Chemicals Industry size is slated to reach USD 50 billion by 2024."

The presence of multinational corporations has made construction chemicals industry extremely consolidated, with top four market players accounting for nearly 50% of the overall revenue. The business space is highly competitive with market participants depending on technological innovations, strategic alliances, and joint ventures to raise their production and retain their market position.

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China blocking UN ban on Masood Azhar proves it can’t be a trusted ally in global war against terrorism

China has once again showed its intent on which side of terror it stands. Once again, it has torpedoed the United Nations efforts to ban Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar. It has been proved beyond doubt that China can’t be a trusted ally in the global war against terrorism. China’s action is in direct contrast to the position it has maintained publicly that it is opposed to any form of terrorism. The reason d'être behind China’s avid desire to protect Jaish chief is beyond explanation. Is it only to help its staunchest ally Pakistan or something else?

China’s opposition to proscribing Azhar is baffling given that Jaish-e-Mohammed has already been blacklisted by the 15-nation Security Council of which China is one of the five permanent members. The Jaish was blacklisted by the UN Security Council in 2001, a year after its formation, following a deadly attack on Indian Parliament in December 2001, which had brought India and Pakistan on the verge of a fourth war. Strangely, China considers JeM an outlawed organisation, but not its leader? There seems to be a serious defect in the original charter of the United Nations which gave special powers to the P-5 countries. There is an urgent need for immediate rectification of this rule. Otherwise, any one permanent nation can keep on foiling adoption of any resolution. The best way is to introduce the rule of the majority within the five permanent members, otherwise, the international community would always be found wanting in arriving at any decision due to contradicting stand by one or other countries.

This is the fourth time that China has blocked a combined bid by the United States, France and the United Kingdom to declare Azhar a global terrorist by putting the proposal on a “technical hold” before eventually terminating it on the grounds that “there is no consensus” in the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council. How can there be a consensus if one country (read China) continues with its unprincipled stand on Azhar? In 2017 also, it was the odd nation out in the 15-member Security Council when the P3 nations – the US, UK and France – sought to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would have entailed his travel ban and freezing of assets. While the proposal had the approval of all the other 14 members of the Security Council, it was China which censored it. Needless to say, China is misusing its veto power.

The dichotomy between China’s alleged commitment to fight terrorism and its action is quite evident as it is a signatory to the Xiamen Declaration signed in September 2017 at the 9th BRICS summit in the Chinese city of Xiamen. The Xiamen Declaration had called upon the international community to establish a "genuinely broad" international counter-terrorism coalition. Moreover, it was also a party to a decision of the five-member BRICS nations summit in Xiamen which had called for decisive action against militant groups based in Pakistan terming them as a security concern in the region. Some of the groups mentioned in the declaration included Taliban (Islamic State)..., Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad. The last two groups have been involved in several deadly attacks against India, including the latest one in Pulwama in which at least 40 paramilitary soldiers were martyred in a suicide attack, and which was claimed by Jaish. China, too, is aware of the predicament of its all-weather ally. Therefore, it has been repeatedly blocking any attempt to outlaw Azhar even at the expense of its own image. But while doing so, China risks global isolation.

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Minister Davies Appoints 5 new members to BRICS Council

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has appointed new members to the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Business Council following nominations from Business Unity South Africa and the Black Business Council. The team has extensive business experience: Busi Mabuza is chairperson of the Industrial Development Corporation; Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba is group executive director of Discovery; Bridgette Radebe is chairperson and chief executive of Mmakau Mining; Dr Stavros Nicolaou is Aspen Pharmacare executive director responsible for strategic trade development and Elias Monage is chief executive of the Afika Group.

Mabuza is the global chairperson of the BRICS Business Council, a position that will shift to Brazil at the BRICS Business Council Midterm meeting in April in Johannesburg. Mabuza said the new team had “been on the ground” for a month already and would meet the other business councils face-to-face for the first time in April. Davies said trade and investment opportunities would be sought in a number of key sectors of the economy: agribusiness, deregulation, digital economy, financial services, energy and green economy, infrastructure, manufacturing, regional aviation and skills development. He said it was important that the SA BRICS Business Council remained located within the ambit of organised business in South Africa, and was appropriately representative and accessible to all business. Mabuza said the council would support small and medium enterprise participation. She said it was also important that the council foster alignment between the government and business in relation to the commercial opportunities offered by the BRICS relationship. Mabuza said they would ensure the interests of organised and sectoral business entities were properly articulated in the nine industry sectoral working groups that spanned the business councils of the five BRICS countries.

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