The BRICS Summit at Johanesberg, South Afica is over along with all the bilateral meetings between the participants. It would thus be apt to examine the major takeaways of this summit now that the dust has settled.
The first and foremost was the decision to expand the membership of BRICS with the admission of Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and UAE from 2024 onwards. Not only would this move singularly increase the critical mass of the GDP of the construct, it reflects the intent of the member nations to evolve, reform, transform and change from where it was for the past few years.
As per the latest data available, 41% of the global population, 24% of the global GDP and 16 % of the global trade is held by the five of the largest developing countries of the world, representing BRICS conglomerate. Leaders at the summit emphasized the importance of increasing trade and investment among BRICS nations and strengthening their ties. They aspire to reach 50% of global GDP by 2050, which would significantly alter the global economic landscape.
‘While BRICS has not had much to show since it was set up in 2010, the current geopolitical situation has created a ground swell against the “weaponisation of public goods” by the West. BRICS will provide the new members leverage against the West, while also broadening their options for national development’ says Zorawar Daulet Singh, a foreign policy analyst in an interview on Stranewsglobal. It is also believed that India has steered the initiative and shaped the criteria for adding new members. A few of the new members are also India’s strategic partners.
With the arrival of the six new BRICS countries, the construct now has six of the nine largest oil producers in the world. Moreover, with 90% of all oil sales taking place in US dollars, this development could have massive de-dollarization ramifications which has been embraced over the course of the last few months. increasing promotion of the local currency of these oil producing countries.
The US had already expressed concern over Saudi Arabia shifting oil sales outside of the Dollars. Now that it has joined the alliance, it is likely to adopt the local currency initiative the bloc has been promoting.
The BRICS Summit 2023 also expressed concern about the use of unilateral coercive measures and reiterated the commitment towards inclusive multilateralism and upholding international law, along with enhancing and improving global governance by the promotion of a more agile, effective, efficient, representative, democratic and accountable international and multilateral system.
Another key takeaway from the 2023 BRICS summit is that India and China have agreed to intensify efforts to de-escalate tensions at the disputed border between them and withdraw thousands of troops deployed there. The Chinese Embassy in New Delhi later tweeted a foreign ministry statement saying Xi stressed that improving China-India relations served their common interests and was also be conducive to peace, stability and development of the world and the region.
BRICS states discussed their support for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), stressing the importance of political stability in fostering market certainty across the African continent. They explored ways to strengthen coordination and collaboration to boost the momentum of AfCFTA.
The 15th BRICS Summit underscored the bloc’s determination to shape the global economic order, reduce dependency on the US dollar, expand its membership, invest in agriculture, promote green growth, empower entrepreneurs, and support Africa’s economic transformation through initiatives like AfCFTA. These discussions signaled a potential shift in the dynamics of global trade and cooperation, with BRICS nations taking on increasingly influential roles in the years ahead.
BRICS: Big Leap Forward: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgSoSAEpQP