TRENDS RELASES NEW STUDY: The expansion of BRICS group will enhance its influence on bringing about change in the current international order


TRENDS Research and Advisory stressed that the expansion of the BRICS group will bring about various economic impacts - in the medium- and long-term range.  The new study addressed the performance of the economies involved in this expansion, in the context of the global economy. The study indicated that in light of the economic potential and the strategic objectives and the gains that the BRICS group seeks to achieve for member countries and the unfolding global challenges, the insightful vision confirms this positive transformation was quite reasonbable.

The study was prepared by the Research Department at TRENDS Research and Advisory and entitled "BRICS Summit 2023 and Efforts to Build a New International Order." It indicated that the BRICS' expansion of its membership would enhance its influence internationally at the economic and political levels. This step would lead to some changes in the current international order, but it can also be the beginning of a new era of international competition, especially in light of the rivalry between the two poles, the BRICS bloc and the Group of Seven G-7. The competition with the G-7 major industrialized countries in areas of technological, financial and monetary fields is currently most evident in the competition between the Chinese and US economies.

The study explained that the economic effects of the BRICS expansion will also remain limited by other factors governing the performance of these economies within the global economic system.

The fifteenth BRICS summit, which was held in Johannesburg from August 22 to 24, 2023, was accompanied by a momentum, imposed by several international factors, most notably the current global economic crisis, the war between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the current escalation in the South China Sea, which was reflected in the summit's agenda.

The study, is issued as part of the foreign policy and international relations research program at TRENDS Research and Advisory. It indicated that the agenda of the summit focused on several basic themes. They include the expansion of BRICS membership, the mechanisms for providing financial support to the Group Bank, as well as ways of economic cooperation. The analysis indicated that it is quite evident that the group focuses on ways to enhance the capabilities of its members and position itself as an influential player in the international system, both politically and economically. This is the result of the significant improvement in the GROUP’s economic indicators over the last 18 years. The BRICS group is trying to broaden its base, to help build a network of diverse interests that could alleviate historical tensions in relations between some of its members, such as China and India.

The study said that the themes of this agenda were reflected in the final communique of the BRICS Summit 2023, which approved the accession of six new countries as members to the group, namely the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Argentina, Ethiopia and Iran. The new members’ admission to the BRICS group carry many connotations that transcend the mere enhancement of the economic capabilities to rebuild and shape the group's new political structure in geostrategic terms.

The study indicated that final communique showed that the only procedural decision was to expand the BRICS’ membership. This decision was consistent with the momentum that preceded the summit and reflects the group’s leaders' statements in the opening session. They focused on rebuilding a more just international order and confronting the US dollar hegemony. This outcome was imposed by the increasing international tensions between the United States and the European Union as one block, and Russia and China on the other hand. This brought to mind the atmosphere of international polarization, which prevailed during the Cold War.

The study added that the selection of the new six BRICS member countries was based on several criteria, the most important of which is the issue of building a "geo-strategic belt" that links world’s continents. This belt would help consolidate the international position of the group in the political, economic and security fields. The move shall enhance the group’s effective role in the international system, as a step towards building a "multipolar world order."

Although the summit's final communiqué focused on the inclusion of new members, it can also be considered as an preclude to understand the paradigm shift in the group's strategic plans, the results of which could be felt in the coming years.

The study analyzed the most prominent issues related to the BRICSS expansion decision, by considering its internal working system and strategic objectives. Finally, the study indicated the major challenges facing this bloc in the future, especially after approving this considerable expansion of its membership.

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