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This chapter, by Indian scholar Kudrat Virk, focuses on the evolving dynamics of relations between member states of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) group on the one hand, and the emerging economies of the BRICS bloc (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) on the other. The chapter charts the relevance and presence of China, India, and Brazil, in particular, in the ACP regions. Virk acknowledges the opportunities that the rise of the BRICS has brought for African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries, with the new powers in the global South emerging as an alternative source of trade and aid, as well as of knowledge about development, to the European Union (EU). However, she also cautions against an uncritical acceptance of the motivations and interests of the BRICS in pursuing greater engagement with Africa in particular and the ACP more generally. Virk argues in favour of a more balanced and strategic approach by African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries towards the new players—one that uses intra-BRICS competition and rivalry to diversify ACP economies and achieve their development objectives; builds new partnerships without undermining the ACP group’s development cooperation with the EU; and bases itself on lessons of the past.
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