Saturday, September 30, 2023

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According to specialists in international relations, the BRICS challenge to the existing global economic structure is serious. Now, with over a quarter of the worldwide gross domestic product (GDP) accounted for by the bloc, encompassing prominent emerging markets, it has the potential to rise as an equivalent to the G7 developed economies, they claim.

BRICS’ Endeavor for International Economic and Financial Reform Cannot be Overlooked

With an increasing number of countries expressing a desire to become part of BRICS – presently comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – the coalition’s pursuit of global economic and financial overhaul must not be ignored, states Anthony Rowley, a seasoned journalist with a focus on Asian financial and economic matters.

Given that the BRICS nations’ economies already represent over one-fourth of the global GDP, Rowley stated in an article from the South China Morning Post that their challenge to the conventional economic system cannot be disregarded.

As BRICS leaders are set to explore the organization’s growth in their summit from August 22 – 24 in Johannesburg, South Africa’s chief diplomat related to the bloc revealed that over 40 countries have shown or formally declared their intention to join.

Rowley notes, “It’s not the size but rather the various domains in which BRICS members extend their influence that counts.” He sees this diversity as a steering factor towards a more international outlook compared to other regional arrangements.

BRICS is unique from regional trade agreements in aiming to offer alternative funding sources to members through its New Development Bank (NDB), introducing settlement systems in local currencies, and crafting central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), according to the journalist.

He also emphasized that BRICS serves as a natural attraction center, primarily promoting multilateralism and global management, particularly in finance and economics.

The Future Role of BRICS Influenced by China-India Conflict

However, some observe that the rivalry between China and India, who have distinct views regarding the bloc’s expansion, might threaten these characteristics. While China advocates quick growth, India supports affiliating other countries without necessarily giving them full membership rights.

BRICS “may grow to be a counterpart to the Group of Seven (G7) in international matters, leading to significant effects on global relations,” asserts Hung Tran, a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank. Whether this results positively or negatively is dependent on whether China’s or India’s strategy succeeds.

Tran detailed that India has aimed to counter China’s attempts to convert BRICS into a backing organization for China’s geopolitical ambitions, as well as its explicit anti-U.S. stance. India’s goal is to focus BRICS on cooperation between the economies of the Global South, lessen dependence on the U.S. dollar, and reform global financial institutions to grant developing nations more influence.

These remarks on BRICS’ role and future by Rowley and Tran follow recent suggestions by UAE professor of international affairs and strategy, Mohamed El Yattioui, that the addition of new members would enable the group to push Western countries to recognize shifts in international relations and what he termed the “new world order.”

What are your opinions on BRICS’ capacity to compete with established intergovernmental platforms such as the Group of Seven (G7)? Please express your views on the topic in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Global Geopolitics

What is BRICS and how does it challenge the established economic order?

BRICS refers to a group of leading emerging markets, including Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. This coalition challenges the established economic order by collectively representing over a quarter of the global GDP, potentially positioning itself as a counterpart to the G7 developed economies.

How seriously is BRICS’ push for global economic and financial reform being taken?

Experts in international relations consider BRICS’ efforts to reform the global economic and financial system seriously. With its growing influence and increasing interest from other countries to join, BRICS’ endeavors cannot be overlooked.

What factors differentiate BRICS from regional trade agreements?

BRICS distinguishes itself from regional trade agreements by providing members with alternative financing sources, through mechanisms like the New Development Bank (NDB). It also aims to establish local currency settlements and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), reflecting a focus on diverse areas of influence.

How does the rivalry between China and India impact BRICS’ future?

The rivalry between China and India influences the future of BRICS. While China favors swift expansion, India prefers a more inclusive approach without granting full membership rights. The outcome of this dynamic will shape whether BRICS can become a counterpart to the G7.

What goals does India have within the BRICS framework?

India aims to resist China’s agenda dominance, promote Global-South economic cooperation, reduce reliance on the U.S. dollar, and reform international financial institutions for greater influence by developing nations.

What potential impact could BRICS have on international relations?

Experts speculate that BRICS could evolve into a significant player on the global stage, potentially impacting international relations. The outcome depends on whether China’s or India’s approach prevails within the coalition.

How might the addition of new members affect BRICS’ role?

The inclusion of new members could enable BRICS to push Western nations to acknowledge shifts in international relations and adapt to what some call the “new world order.” This perspective suggests that BRICS’ influence might extend beyond its current status.

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