The Role of Multilingualism as a tool in Spurting Trade among the BRICS: An Economic Perspective
Posted by BYELONGO ELISEE ISHELOKE on 20 July 2022, 23:35 SAST
As the use of languages play a critical role in economic activities within the globalized countries’ economies, there are growing perspectives and interests in the relationship between languages and the volume of trade among trading partners. This study looks at one such perspective in the lenses of gravity model, a theory of international trade, that measures the impact of language on trade or Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The study explores challenges facing Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) in respect to the impact of language diversity in their trading matters, and the potential of multilingualism in spurting trade within this trading bloc.
The study employs a qualitative approach with the use of exploratory design. The data is based on secondary sources stemming from reports, research, books to policy papers. This study findings show that various trading blocs such as European Union (EU), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the West Africa’s Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), with some members of BRICS such as South Africa and China as having adopted multilingualism as a strategy of addressing the language factor in their bilateral trading matters. This study proposes the promotion of multilingualism as a way of mitigating the impact of language barrier in international trade among the BRICS and beyond.
Keywords: Economics of language, Gravity model, Bilateral-trade, Economic