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27 Jul, 2018 14:43

BRICS gearing up for digital revolution

BRICS gearing up for digital revolution

The five-nation bloc of emerging economies Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) has decided to work closer together to embrace rapidly developing technology that has carved a fourth industrial revolution.

Dubbed the Digital Age or Revolution 4.0, it is considered the fourth major technological era since the 18th century. It encompasses digital technology as well as nanotechnology, biotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence, and others.

The digital revolution is the next threshold for BRICS countries, according to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“This surge in innovation has the potential to dramatically improve productivity and to place entire countries on a new trajectory of prosperity. It has the potential to solve many of the social problems we face...” he said during the BRICS summit in Johannesburg.

Ramaphosa's comments were echoed by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said technological innovations could help to enhance better service delivery and productivity levels.

“India wants to work collectively along with BRICS nations in the area of the fourth Industrial Revolution and all nations must share the best practices and policies on this,” Modi said.

According to Brazilian President Michel Temer, BRICS countries can only be competitive if they are open. “And I mean open to more sophisticated inputs, advanced technology, bolder ideas, and open to more investments and trade,” he explained.

Major banks from BRICS countries have agreed to work together to study how innovative technology such as cryptocurrencies and blockchain could be applied in the infrastructure finance sector. Last year, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) proposed to create a joint digital currency for BRICS countries and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). It could replace the US dollar and other currencies used in settlements among the member states, CBR said.

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