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The BRICS+ Expansion and Its Global Implications



  Dec 25, 2023

The BRICS+ Expansion and Its Global Implications



The expansion of the BRICS group with the addition of six new nations in the BRICS+ format has far-reaching implications for global trade, geopolitics, and international relations. Here's an overview of the key points:

BRICS+ Expansion: The 15th BRICS Summit marked a historic moment with the invitation of six new nations - Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates - to join the BRICS group. This expansion effectively doubled the group's membership and signified a move towards a more inclusive approach to international cooperation.

Diverse Coalition: The BRICS+ format reflects a diverse and heterogeneous coalition, with each member bringing its unique agenda to the table. This diversity ensures that the coalition represents a wide range of interests and aspirations, making it a dynamic and ambitious group.

Trade and Investment: While the BRICS is not a formalized trade bloc, its members have the flexibility to build consensus and negotiate agreements without immediate institutionalization. This informality allows for swift decision-making and makes the group less susceptible to categorization, making it challenging for external parties to engage with effectively.

Reforming Global Institutions: The BRICS states are actively working on constructing institutional frameworks, such as the BRICS New Development Bank, and are committed to reforming existing global institutions like the United Nations, World Bank, IMF, WTO, and WHO. This collective effort has the potential to reshape these organizations through democratic platforms within the UN.

Challenges and Complexities: The expansion of BRICS introduces new challenges and complexities, including regional disputes, economic challenges, and political rivalries among member states. These issues may affect the group's ability to reach consensus on key matters.

BRICS+ Collective Clout: The expanded BRICS group, including its new members, now accounts for 37% of global GDP, surpassing the G7's share based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). It also brings an additional 69 countries into its sphere of influence, strengthening its global footprint.

Quest for a New Global Currency: While the concept of a common BRICS currency, known as the "R5," was not formally discussed, the member nations are increasingly exploring the use of their national currencies in trade. The introduction of digital sovereign currencies by BRICS nations could reduce reliance on the US dollar and euro in international transactions.

Challenges to a Common Currency: Establishing a common currency among BRICS nations faces challenges, including economic size, financial outreach, military strength, and potential political motivations. Discordance in interests and increased dependence on certain member nations may hinder the creation of a common alternative currency.

Strengthening the New Development Bank: The New Development Bank (NDB) plays a pivotal role in promoting sustainable development and inclusive multilateralism. It has already allocated funds to support eco-sustainable projects and is transitioning towards financing projects in local currencies to shield borrowers from currency fluctuations.

Conclusion: The expansion of BRICS signifies a shift towards a multipolar global trade environment and challenges the dominance of traditional Western powers. It reflects a desire to shape an alternative global order that aligns with the aspirations of developing nations. However, the organization faces challenges in achieving consensus and defining its authority.

The BRICS+ expansion carries the potential to reshape international relations and global trade dynamics, and its progress will be closely watched in the coming years.


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