BRICS expansion: a new phase of global collaboration

By Imran Khalid | Gwadar Pro Aug 25, 2023

Editor's Note: The writer is a freelance columnist on international affairs based in Karachi, Pakistan. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.
In a significant move, BRICS nations have embraced the inclusion of six new members into their fold. This expansion is set to inject the bloc with added economic muscle, as these newcomers boast substantial financial resources, play pivotal roles in the oil market and occupy strategically important geographic locations. During the BRICS summit held in Johannesburg, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who currently chairs the coalition, revealed the forthcoming full membership of Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, slated to take effect on January 1, 2024.
This expansion heralds a fresh chapter in BRICS collaboration, infusing renewed dynamism into the cooperative framework. United in purpose, BRICS holds the potential for remarkable accomplishments, ensuring a promising future for its constituent countries. The addition of six new members will certainly bolster BRICS as one of the most influential and productive forum in the global arena. The inclusion of oil-rich Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Iran undoubtedly bolsters the viability of employing local currencies, a notion that gains considerable traction in recent times within BRICS. Incorporating these three nations, all substantial exporters of oil and energy resources, presents a promising avenue for bolstering liquidity within the BRICS alliance. These countries, now primarily directing their oil exports towards East Asia and India, have pivoted due to reduced U.S. demand. 
Egypt's inclusion not only introduces another Middle Eastern player but also an active member of the African Union and Africa's second-largest economy. Egypt's significance stems from its role as a pivotal trading partner for Russia and China. Akin to this, Iran holds strategic importance for Moscow, potentially enabling the creation of a North-South corridor. This corridor could enable Russia—a significant oil and grain exporter—to transport goods through the Persian Gulf, connecting Asia and Africa while circumventing the Black Sea and northern Europe. 
Similarly, Argentina, which had persistently pleaded for the BRICS membership citing the rationale of integrating Latin America for the sake of continental equilibrium, is currently grappling with a currency crisis due to recent devaluation, but still it is a substantial middle-income nation. Meanwhile, Ethiopia, boasting a thriving economy, also holds a pivotal role in the Horn of Africa. As the African Union's headquarters, it wields considerable influence over regional affairs. 
The ascendance of emerging economies is reshaping the world stage, as underscored by this summit. It is a pivotal step toward forging a fresh international economic and political framework. This gathering holds the potential to recalibrate prevailing global dynamics. BRICS' role in worldwide governance is paramount, encompassing both conventional security paradigms and novel security approaches. Their propositions resonate harmoniously with the pursuit of an equitable, efficient, and harmonious global structure. This infusion of constructive ideals from the BRICS bloc radiates positivity, bestowing a revitalizing influence upon the world stage. 

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