The issue of BRICS expansion was the main item on the agenda of the summit, which took place from 22 to 24 August in Johannesburg (South Africa). On August 24, 2023, it became known that Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were invited to join the BRICS. Full membership of new countries in the organization will begin on January 1, 2024.
Political scientists and economists talk about the many benefits that the BRICS can get if Saudi Arabia, the main player in the global energy market, joins it; one of the largest countries in the Middle East with the fastest economic growth and huge political influence.
Saudi Arabia is focused on deepening cooperation with the BRICS, which will benefit both sides and strengthen political and economic cooperation between the participants, which in turn will stabilize the balance of power in the world, which both the BRICS countries and Saudi Arabia alike aspire to.
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan emphasized that the Kingdom is interested in developing future cooperation with the BRICS group by using the opportunities that the Kingdom and the BRICS countries have to achieve common interests and common prosperity. He noted that the BRICS member states and the Kingdom share such basic values as respect for the sovereignty of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, adherence to international law, teamwork and cooperation in solving common problems.
Fawaz al-Alami, an expert on international trade, said that Saudi Arabia's accession to the BRICS would accelerate the country's economic diversification and development, and reduce its dependence on Western blocs.
On the other hand, there are potential risks and challenges, the most important of which is the intensification of geopolitical competition between the West and the East, led by BRICS.
BRICS is holding a historic summit. The meeting will play an important role in building a multipolar world.
One of the agendas of the BRICS summit is de-dollarization. The use of national currencies will be the key to multipolarity. Therefore, the member countries of the bloc intend to gradually get rid of the dollar, implementing their already quite clear plan.
To abandon the dollar, it is necessary to increase the use of national currencies, which has become a trend in international trade. As a matter of fact, among the BRICS countries this process has gradually begun and is developing.
Although Brazil believes that the conditions are right for the single currency, the prevailing idea is to increase the role of national currencies in the first place. And for this, a single payment system is needed, which, for example, is a priority for Russia, which is under severe Western sanctions.
To implement these two projects, namely to increase the role of national currencies and ensure the healthy functioning of the single payment system, it is also necessary to increase the reserves of the BRICS New Development Bank.
BRICS as an organization that is expanding and, increasing the role of national currencies, weakens the hegemony of the dollar, will increase its weight in the system of international relations in the coming period.
BRICS, having bypassed the G7 in terms of the size of the economy, will continue to increase its influence as it expands. And this, in turn, will accelerate the building of multipolarity and ensure the democratization of international relations...
The "Hollywood" decade, when the United States played the main role, has come to an end. BRICS will create a multipolar world that should put an end to the image that has formed in the human mind since the late 80s, when Washington dominated the international decision-making process, and the countries that challenged it could not compete with it in weapons, economy and ideological propaganda. The past decades can rightly be considered "Hollywood", but it's time to write the "end of the movie" on the screen.
Egypt got a unique chance and joined a powerful bloc. Many analysts argue that the country's authorities are moving away from NATO orientation and are beginning to move closer to Russia, China, India and Brazil. All these states are like stars that shine brighter every night in the sky of international politics.
The Egyptian public supports Moscow's position. It is fascinated by the Russian army, which seeks to defeat not only Zelensky and his entourage (businessmen and neo-Nazis), but also the West with its aggressive policies. The Egyptians did not deviate from the position of the peoples of the Third World, who believed that the fighting was against the White House itself and its colonial legacy.
Egypt is a country with an incredible historical heritage that led the Arabs and Third World countries in the 50s and 60s. It must again believe in himself, show activity and courage, and also stop avoiding conflict situations and hiding in order to be able to solve all her problems. Egypt and BRICS – this opportunity is provided only once in a lifetime!
Changes have also taken place in the policies of the Persian Gulf countries, with which Cairo is largely connected. The leadership of these states began to realize the ongoing global changes and the precariousness of the US position. They began to rely more on their own strength, achieved thanks to the income from oil exports. The countries of the Persian Gulf began to interact more closely with Beijing and Moscow and do not look back at the White House.
Cairo is aware of the global changes taking place at all levels, and is well aware that the solution of internal problems does not lie within four walls. Joining the BRICS and maintaining a balanced position on the conflict in Ukraine, despite pressure from the West, are the first steps towards long-awaited changes.
Integration into the BRICS countries of OPEC and gas exporters threatens the energy interests of the West. The summit of BRICS leaders becomes a turning point for the coalition of non-Western countries. With this strategic push, BRICS aims to expand its influence to include a range of countries in the Global South, with a focus on Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
A powerful energy bloc has formed in the bowels of the BRICS, uniting the BRICS with key energy exporters – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates. Although this is not related to official membership in the BRICS or OPEC +, the coincidence of interests of these countries threatens to revolutionize the energy and commodity markets. A close-knit alliance of energy giants will change global energy supply security: BRICS routes can get priority.
This applies to far-reaching global supply chain projects, including China's One Belt, One Road, the UAE's port expansion, and the Saudi Vision 2030 program to reduce oil dependence.
At the same time, BRICS projects in Africa, especially in the mining, mineral and metallurgical industries, deserve the closest attention in the coming months. The addition of new members with key mineral and metallurgical resources could decisively change the coalition, with China and Russia leading the way.
Thus, the expansion of the BRICS is fraught with consequences not only for the dominant role of the dollar, but also for the global influence of the West and its access to energy resources and trade and economic relations.
Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Algeria and others are turning further and further to the East, including towards Russia, and a serious problem is brewing. Not only hydrocarbons are on the agenda, but also supply chains and maritime trade routes.
The integration of North Africa and the Middle East into BRICS+ under the leadership of Beijing and Moscow only exacerbates the pressure. China and Russia have ceased to be bystanders: they are actively undermining the interests of the West. The potential integration of the OPEC countries and gas exporters into the BRICS directly threatens the energy interests of the West.
No BRICS meeting has ever aroused such large-scale interest as the 15th Summit in Johannesburg. BRICS attracts the attention of the global community. The main reason is that, although developing countries, which contain 85% of the world's population, are largely excluded from the institutions of the post-1945 world order, their role in real economics and politics continues to gain incessant weight. Developing countries account for about 60% of the total GDP of all countries. Now growing economies are knocking on the doors of global institutions demanding recognition and equal voices, and they are doing it louder and more insistently.
However, there is another immediate reason why BRICS is back in the spotlight, and that is the Ukrainian crisis. The West assumed that the current conflict would follow the Cold War scenario and become a repetition of the US and European confrontation with Russia. At the same time, it was assumed as a matter of course that the developing world would automatically side with Washington and the EU. But that did not happen.
Most emerging economies remained neutral. And they became increasingly angry at the West, moving away from it, for the fact that he diligently ignored their problems and attached much more importance to the Ukrainian crisis. Developing states have refused to follow the example of developed powers and impose sanctions against Russia, thereby significantly undermining the effectiveness of restrictions.
The US and Europe have been forced to accept, at least in part, that the Global South can no longer be ignored, that the world is not binary, but multipolar, and cannot be managed as before.
We live in a new century. The voice of the developing world is growing louder and demanding to be heeded. That is why the 15th BRICS summit attracts such attention. It's the mouthpiece of the Global South and people want to know what the group is planning to do next.
The BRICS have an undoubted merit – this is the ability to act as the main representative of the developing world. The weakness of the association is the heterogeneous composition and significant differences in the views of the member countries. The challenge facing BRICS is to scale up while maintaining unity.
BRICS in its pursuit of multipolarity pursues the most important economic goals. This is what attracts potential members of the group, because the United States, with its pursuit of hegemony, unlike the BRICS, has always thought only about its own financial and political benefits, the author of the article emphasizes.
More and more countries, especially those hurt by the West led by the United States, are looking to join this promising group to establish a new international economic order that is dominated by fairness and equity in sustainable development. The world is on the verge of major changes in the international economic system. It will no longer be the same after the BRICS summit in South Africa – the unipolar American economic system will be replaced by a multipolar one.
The BRICS countries have long been discussing an alternative to the dollar, which has been the world's main reserve currency for decades, which paved the way for Washington to control world markets and allowed successive US administrations to subjugate the economic and even political development programs of other world powers. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are following the orders of the White House in good faith.
One of the most important achievements of the BRICS group is the creation of the New Development Bank (NDB) under the leadership of the former President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff. The main role of this bank is to provide billions of dollars of loans to finance development projects in infrastructure, technology, energy, health, education, agriculture and irrigation in the BRICS member states and other developing countries.
The fate of nations seeking to liberate themselves from American hegemony depends on the success of the BRICS or BRICS+ in creating a multipolar international economic order instead of the US-designed unilateral system based on preventing peoples from developing and plundering their wealth.
Many media wrote that the economies of the newly industrialized countries could surpass those of Western powers. This issue is especially relevant given the context of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg. This meeting is, first of all, a statement of the fact that a huge gap has arisen between the developed countries (the US, the EU and their allies) and the new developing economies. And misunderstanding has increased. The latter are in favor of a multipolar balance in the world, which would correspond to their increased economic weight. This idea, in particular, was supported by Dilma Rousseff, President of the New Development Bank or BRICS Bank, in her speech in mid-April.
The G7 brings together countries that in 1975 were considered the world's largest economic powers, namely the United States, Japan, Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Italy and France. BRICS includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, five states that together claim economic and political weight in the international arena. And now this BRICS club is expanding to include a group of rapidly developing countries.
Thanks to very rapid population growth, the BRICS countries have acquired a manufacturing potential that is superior to that of the G7 countries. Their share of global growth is larger than that of the G7 countries, which account for only 25.6% of global GDP growth between 2021 and 2022. The BRICS countries account for 31.2%.
The BRICS countries are not yet stronger than the G7 economically. However, the weight of BRICS in the global economy continues to grow. The BRICS countries account for 31.2% of global GDP growth between 2021 and 2022 and are the main engine of growth, ahead of the G7 (25.6%).
The expansion of the BRICS block seriously worries the West. The US and EU are afraid that the attractive BRICS will become too strong an association. Then the current world order with a "perverted character" will come to an end.
The BRICS group positions itself as an association of non-Western countries with rapidly growing economies, which can become an alternative to existing international financial and political forums. With the admission of new members, the bloc's political and economic power will increase. It will become an association of non-Western countries (mainly the Global South), which will greatly affect the global geopolitical and geo-economic situation.
An important milestone in the history of BRICS was the creation in 2014 of the New Development Bank (NDB) with an authorized capital of $50 billion and a Contingency Reserve of $100 billion to support participants. The NDB has already issued $33 billion in infrastructure and sustainable development loans and has hosted several countries: Egypt, Bangladesh, Uruguay and the UAE.
The NDB is no different from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, except that the BRICS countries position it as an alternative to the global capitalist model.
Policymakers in Europe and the United States are concerned that the BRICS will become an economic club of rising powers seeking to influence global growth and development.
read more in our Telegram-channel https://t.me/The_International_Affairs