A New Dawn

The BRICS bloc of top emerging economies have taken a major step in expanding its reach and influence with the announcement that six more nations, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been admitted as full members from January 1, 2024. The bloc, which was formed in 2009 with Brazil, Russia, India and China, first expanded to admit South Africa in 2010. The admission is a clear sign that the bloc is seeking to grow a stronger coalition of developing nations who can better put the interests of the Global South on the world’s agenda. Before the start of its annual summit in South Africa last week, more than 40 countries had expressed interest in joining BRICS, and 23 formally applied to join. After a thorough examination of the different applications based on the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures of the BRICS expansion process, six countries were admitted.
From the look of things, while it is difficult to find commonalities among the six countries admitted into BRICS, most experts believe the admission of these countries has a major geo-economic and geopolitical implications. Apart from opening new avenues for the BRICS nations to trade more easily with one another, the potential use of local currencies rather than the US dollar would be a major step to enhance trade among member countries. Analysts say, one of the countries that could benefit from a trading regime outside of dollar dominance is Iran. Ethiopia, one of the fastest-growing economies just like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are similar to India and, to some degre...



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