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Aleksandr Ignatov1
  • 1 RANEPA, 11 Prechistenskaya Naberezhnaya, office 403, Moscow, Russia, 119034

The Digital Economy of BRICS: Prospects for Multilateral Cooperation

2020. Vol. 15. No. 1. P. 31–62 [issue contents]

The growth of the digital economy has become the most significant trend in global development. The digital economy creates new impetuses for economic growth, but at the same time it deepens global inequality and impacts the growth of countries of the global South. The role of global governance institutions such as the BRICS grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — the main representative of developing countries in global governance — in the promotion of digital growth has not yet been fully explored. There is also some ambiguity concerning the development level of the digital economy in particular countries. In the context of Russia’s third BRICS presidency in 2020, issues of digital development in BRICS have become particularly relevant. The author analyzes current indicators of digital development in the BRICS countries, drawing on several existing methodologies, ratings, and decisions made by BRICS on issues of digital growth and levels of compliance, and makes recommendations for the further development of BRICS’ digital agenda.

According to data provided by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Bank, the World Economic Forum (WEF), the European Union (EU) and the International Development Institute (IDI), the BRICS countries differ in terms of the maturity of their digital economies. They are characterized by a relatively low quality and affordability of digital infrastructure; additionally, the penetration of information and communications technology (ICT) into business and daily activities in BRICS countries lags behind the world leaders, and data on the quality and efficiency of regulatory and innovative frameworks in the BRICS countries is insufficient. However, decisions made by BRICS on matters of digital growth are followed with a high-average level of compliance. Thus, recommendations for the further development of BRICS’ digital agenda are strategic in nature. The author defines three promising areas of cooperation on digital matters during Russia’s 2020 BRICS presidency: facilitation of dialog and exchange of best practices supporting digital growth; development of a common BRICS standard offor the production of digital goods and services and; promotion of a common BRICS position on cybersecurity issues
Citation: Ignatov A. (2020) The Digital Economy of BRICS: Prospects for Multilateral Cooperation. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 15, no 1, pp. 31–62 (in English).
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