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In Brazil, will BRIC summit unify or reinforce their rifts?

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“I’d say the differences outweigh the commonalities. Even basic political structures, two non-democratic regimes and two democratic regimes. In economics, you have two raw material importers in China and India and two raw material exporters, Russia and Brazil,” says Oliver Stuenkel, a visiting professor at the University of Sao Paulo. “That limits the opportunity to get into detail. These differences limit everything.”

But Paulo Ferracioli, of the recently created BRIC Centre for Study and Research in Brazil, says he sees room for gains during this second BRIC summit (the first was last year in Yekaterinburg, Russia).

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and Chinese leader Hu Jintao, each share a desire for more influence than they have so far been able to wield, says Mr. Ferracioli.

“These are four countries that in the international arena all think they have a more important role to play than they have been given in the global governance system,” he says. “They want more power. It’s as simple as that. They feel they are big economies, much bigger than many European countries, for example, that are in G7.”

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