The BRICS group, a coalition of five prominent emerging economies, is poised to increase its membership on January 1, as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, and Ethiopia join the bloc. South Africa’s envoy to the group, Anil Sooklal, has confirmed this significant expansion, as reported by Bloomberg.
New Additions to the Alliance
Last August, the existing five members of the alliance, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, extended invitations to six new countries to join their ranks. While Argentina declined the invitation, representatives from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, and Ethiopia attended a BRICS sherpa gathering in Durban, South Africa, this month, indicating their acceptance of the invitation.
UAE’s Dedication to Multilateralism
The UAE’s decision to join the group, following a successful application, was announced last August. This move reflects the country’s commitment to advocating for the importance of multilateralism. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated, “This development is part of the UAE’s dedication to promoting constructive dialogue through active platforms that represent developing and emerging economies.” He further emphasized the UAE’s consistent support for multilateralism in fostering global peace, security, and development.
Future Meetings and Prospects
The five new member countries are expected to send their representatives to another sherpa meeting in Moscow on January 30. This expansion of the BRICS group signifies a significant shift in the global economic landscape, as more developing and emerging economies align themselves with this influential alliance. The inclusion of these new members is anticipated to bring fresh perspectives and contribute to the collective efforts of the group in addressing global challenges.
The expansion of BRICS greatly enhances the group’s global influence, enabling it to effectively shape global affairs. By welcoming more countries into the alliance, BRICS can exert even more influence in global affairs. This increased influence is particularly crucial in counterbalancing the Western-led international order. The establishment of the BRICS group aimed to provide a counterbalance to this order, and the addition of new members from various regions of the world can further strengthen this objective.
Additionally, BRICS nations have been exploring initiatives to reduce their reliance on the US dollar, known as dollarisation. These efforts involve promoting the use of their national currencies in trade and exploring the potential of digital currencies and other financial instruments to bypass the US dollar. This can contribute to the member nations achieving greater financial and geopolitical autonomy.
The expansion of BRICS and the introduction of a new BRICS currency could create extensive trade and investment opportunities for all member nations, leading to economic growth and development within the alliance. One of the key advantages of BRICS expansion is the increased visibility and influence of the alliance. This expansion not only enhances its visibility but also strengthens its geopolitical influence. Another significant benefit is the economic opportunities that come with this expansion.
BRICS countries represent a substantial portion of global GDP, offering extensive trade and investment prospects for all member nations. The new members can benefit from increased foreign direct investment, technological advancements, and enhanced export capabilities. Being a member of BRICS also elevates a nation’s position as an important emerging economy. It grants entry to the policy and technical knowledge of larger and well-established economies. This can be particularly advantageous for the new members who can gain insights from the experiences and practices of the existing members.
Lastly, the BRICS New Development Bank offers funding for infrastructure and climate-related projects in developing countries. The new members can benefit from this support for their development initiatives. In conclusion, the addition of new members to the BRICS alliance can strengthen the alliance’s global influence, provide economic opportunities, enhance policy and technical expertise, promote multilateralism and cooperation, bring diverse perspectives, and support development initiatives. This expansion signifies a significant milestone in the evolution of BRICS and its role in global affairs.