BRICS: The battle to join the alliance intensifies

Throughout 2023, the BRICS have been in the news a lot. First by co-opting 6 of the most strategic countries in the world to support their ambitious project to exit the dollar. But above all, by the numerous monetary and financial initiatives that they have initiated in accordance with their vision. This year, BRICS is also regularly making headlines. They announced, a few months ago, their desire to integrate 6 new states. And for these six places, dozens of countries are vying for them. In this article, we will see how BRICS integration has potentially become a major issue for many countries, mainly developing.

BRICS, the alliance that most interests developing countries?

Developing countries are literally in love with BRICS. And it’s not too much to say it in view of recent news which attracts attention. It concerns the increase in alliance members. Last year, the organization opened its doors to Iran, with Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the Arab Emirates forming what will now be called BRICS+.

This year, six new people, whose identities we do not know, will join the organization. A perspective that would expand BRICS to 17 members, strengthening its status as a counter-power against the West. If we do not yet know the coloring of the cohort of States which will join the BRICS, we know that a number of States want their ticket to access the groups of countries.

In the last news, there is palpable and growing interest from developing countries in BRICS. Naledi Pandor, the South African Minister of Foreign Affairs, revealed that 36 countries have formally expressed their interest in joining this alliance. If there is so much enthusiasm on the part of these States to join the alliance, it is anything but a fashion effect.

It is important to know that these nations see in the BRICS a promising bloc, capable of catalyzing the significant economic changes that are dear to them. Basically, there is a real advantage to joining the BRICS. Indeed, membership in this alliance offers a range of potential benefits. In particular, the prospect of reinforced sovereignty by reducing dependence on the American dollar. This is a crucial objective for these economies wishing to assert their financial independence and strengthen their economic sovereignty.

Beyond that, BRICS integration could promote the promotion of local currencies for international transactions. Enough to offer member countries greater flexibility in their cross-border trade. This transition to the use of local currencies is fundamentally useful for strengthening national economies, stimulating subregional trade and limiting the costs associated with international transactions. In short, the attraction of developing countries to BRICS is based on the tangible prospect of economic strengthening and financial emancipation that this alliance offers.

Many States interested, but few chosen in the long term

Certainly, there is colossal interest from states in joining BRICS. But this desire comes up against the complexities of the very expansion of the alliance. Indeed, the latter faces a series of key challenges that require particular attention. First, the rigorous membership criteria, set by existing members, impose a high barrier to entry into the alliance. Among the 36 candidate countries, only a few could meet these criteria and receive an invitation in 2024. This highlights the selectivity of the process and the fierce competition between aspiring nations.

Furthermore, the potential impact on the US dollar constitutes a major global challenge. By seeking to reduce their dependence on this currency, the BRICS risk disrupting the global financial balance. In doing so, it cannot be ruled out that they will trigger reactions on global markets, with potentially unpredictable consequences.

Furthermore, the actual contribution of new members raises crucial questions about their ability to contribute meaningfully to BRICS objectives. Candidate countries must demonstrate that they can offer tangible benefits, both monetary and political, to be co-opted. A requirement that reinforces the rigor of the BRICS expansion process and underlines the strategic importance of each new addition to this emerging economic coalition. In short, there is a challenge in guaranteeing the sustainability and relevance of this alliance in a constantly evolving global economic context. Whatever happens, it will not be without consequences.

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The implications of BRICS enlargement

It must be said, the expansion of the BRICS has major geopolitical implications which signal the emergence of a new economic world order. This perspective demonstrates the diversification of economic alliances. This is reinforced by the growing attractiveness of the BRICS as an alternative to the Western financial system.

Increasingly, the BRICS are positioning themselves as a potential counterweight to this hegemony, a platform offering developing economies in particular economic cooperation and empowerment. However, this expansion also raises questions and uncertainties. Until now, BRICS has managed itself very effectively. But with the expansion project, BRICS’ ability to integrate and manage large numbers of new members remains a major challenge.

It should also not be overlooked that the reactions of Western powers to the bloc’s expansion are subject to speculation. This, with potential implications for the dynamics of international relations and global markets. Clearly, it is crucial to follow developments relating to BRICS expansion very closely. These developments will undoubtedly have profound geopolitical implications, likely to redefine the balance of power between States on a global scale.

Recently, the alliance has demonstrated its determination to put a stop to the geopolitical anthill. This, by officially announcing its plan to establish its own payment system while plans for a common currency are being refined. Like integration into the alliance, this project was applauded by at least 20 countries. This is clearly proof that the BRICS generate phenomenal hype among many states that are mainly victims of bipolarization, somewhat imposed by the West.

Conclusion

Broadly speaking, the expansion of BRICS signals a new dynamic in the global economic order. The latter arouses growing interest from developing countries. However, these face significant challenges, including stringent membership criteria. Not to mention that geopolitical implications must also be closely monitored. Nevertheless, BRICS remains a promising alliance. In any case, they offer member countries tangible advantages to strengthen their economies. But also to consolidate their influence on the international scene in the reign of division.

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