Friday, February 23, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Friday, February 23, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

BRICS poised for expansion

Published 24 August 2023
- By Editorial Staff
Representatives of the five BRICS countries in Johannesburg.

The BRICS partnership could expand significantly. During the Johannesburg Summit, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his intention to pursue the accession of new countries.

More than 20 new countries have reportedly already submitted formal applications for membership.

BRICS was originally based on cooperation between the world’s five largest emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. However, the alliance is likely to grow much larger in the near future.

So far, Russia and China have been the most vocal proponents of expansion – but they have also received support from South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa. During the Johannesburg summit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced that he “fully supports the expansion” of the group. All BRICS leaders were physically present at the summit except Russian President Vladimir Putin, who participated via video link.

According to South African officials, more than 40 countries from the “global south” have expressed interest in joining BRICS – and more than 20 countries have submitted formal applications for membership, according to Qatar-based Al-Jazeera.

“Will be a multilateral institution”

However, full consensus has not been reached on all issues. Brazil, which also has close ties with the US, believes that BRICS should not try to compete with the US and the G7 economies, according to President Lula. Meanwhile, Lula welcomes Argentina’s entry into BRICS, saying it is “very important” for the country, which is struggling with historically high inflation, debt and large loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). If Argentina joins BRICS, it could potentially receive various financial support packages and loan offers from the alliance.

– We want BRICS to be a multilateral institution, not an exclusive club. Any new members would need to meet certain conditions, so the group does not become a “Tower of Babel”, Lula said.

Wants to change the global economic system

Priority issues raised included strengthening the partnership with Africa and developing proposals for changes to the global economic system.

– We are concerned that global financial and payment systems are increasingly being used as instruments of geopolitical contestation. Global economic recovery relies on predictable global payment systems and the smooth operating of banking, supply chains, trade, tourism, as well as financial flows, Ramaphosa said.

The South African leader went on to say that “development is not the privilege of the few” and that more focus should be placed on the challenges of the non-Western world.

Vladimir Putin criticized what he called “ongoing neocolonialism” that he said promotes its own hegemony. He also stressed that Russia wants to find a solution to the war in Ukraine and achieve a ceasefire, a view shared by other BRICS countries.

During the conference, Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed the fact that so many countries are said to want to join the cooperation and stressed the importance of creating “stability and security”. He also called for deeper cooperation between countries to build long-term growth outside the Western bloc.


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