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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

Source: State University of Management – Official website of the State University –

Source: Izvestia

The BRICS group, which had an unchanged composition for more than 10 years (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), has grown with five new countries since the beginning of 2024, which immediately became the subject of close attention from the world community. The XV BRICS summit, held in South Africa in August 2023, actually marked a new era in the development of the association, which included such major players as Egypt, Iran, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia. Initially, Argentina was also supposed to join. But after libertarian Javier Miley came to power, Buenos Aires abandoned rapprochement with this structure, focusing on cooperation with the United States and Western institutions.

The latest expansion of BRICS demonstrated to the rest of the world that this association is promising and attractive for developing countries not only from the point of view of forming new mechanisms of international cooperation within the Global South. BRICS sets inclusiveness of sustainable development and improving the well-being of countries as one of its key goals. At the same time, the updated BRICS accounts for about 46% of the world’s population and about 36% of world GDP (this is already more than the combined GDP of the G7 countries, which includes the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, France and Japan).

However, expansion also has a downside. The problems of BRICS include the growing heterogeneity of the association. This structure now includes countries whose economic and political interests are conflicting. At the same time, BRICS is a quasi-integration association with a soft degree of integration. And it cannot, for example, be compared with the European Union. As a result, all participants strive to maintain political and economic autonomy, emphasizing their commitment to geostrategic multipolarity.

In particular, for African countries such as Egypt and Ethiopia, BRICS can contribute (through greater involvement in international trade, as well as transport integration) to solving many internal economic problems. Iran seeks, through structure, to overcome the international isolation in which it finds itself amid Western sanctions. Finally, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, through participation in BRICS, want to reduce the dependence of their national economy on oil production and diversify it. It is obvious that when joining BRICS, countries are guided by different economic motives.

But BRICS, for its member countries, has primarily become a platform that allows them to more clearly defend their interests in international organizations (UN, IMF, WTO), present a united front and be heard on the most important issues on the global agenda. Although it is not yet entirely clear how successfully BRICS will be able to influence various issues of the development of international trade and the functioning of global monetary and financial markets. But, for example, it is already obvious that the group is managing to promote the process of de-dollarization of the world economy and fight the dominance of the collective Western countries in international markets.

The expansion of BRICS demonstrates that developing countries are striving to be at the forefront of the formation of a new global world order. In this regard, it is worth noting that the association was created during the global crisis of 2008–2009. And it was also able to demonstrate to the world that the Bretton Woods system, formed in the 40s of the last century, may have alternatives in the future.

But BRICS still has neither its own organizational structure nor clear mechanisms for admitting new states into the association, nor is there an understanding of how it will implement some decisions. Nevertheless, many developing countries want to join BRICS, sometimes without their own leverage on global issues. And the fact that BRICS strengthens their position on the world stage, but does not deprive them of sovereignty, as is to a certain extent happening within the EU, increases the attractiveness of this association.

According to some reports, about 30 countries have already applied to join BRICS, and if even some of these states join the association in the near future, this will be a major diplomatic victory for the non-Western world. Despite all the shortcomings and criticism of BRICS, the increase in the number of participants will mean an increase in the role of the association in the international arena. As a result, members of the structure will be able to even more actively influence processes such as reforming multilateral regulation of international trade and transforming the global monetary system. In essence, BRICS is a new, parallel system of global governance that declares its positions in the future restructuring of the world economy.

But we must not forget that any expansion of a particular structure always complicates the decision-making process. And here it is important that the interests of individual countries do not ultimately deprive BRICS of the opportunity to act actively in the international arena.

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The BRICS group, which has had the same composition for more than 10 years (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa),…

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