The might of BRICS

Source The Ghana Report

BRICS is the abbreviation for the economic union spearheaded by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

It is a grouping of top emerging economies.

Whilst the BRICS Summit is a meeting of Heads of State and Government, there is also an extensive business programme arranged around the summit culminating in the BRICS Business Forum.

The 2023 BRICS Business Summit commenced on August 22 and is set to end on August 24 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The 15th BRICS Summit is on the theme ‘BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism’.

The conference aims not only to strengthen cooperation but to forge a robust international alliance designed to counteract Western influence.

In the opening address of the summit, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa underscored the importance of stability in driving and sustaining a vibrant trade ecosystem within the continent.

On coups that have saddled the continent and the West African bloc, Mr. Ramaphosa stated that a stable and peaceful Africa is essential as the continent seeks to build a dynamic trade system that will transform economies.

“For Africa to thrive, we must silence the guns. The vibrant trading Africa we seek to build, depends on Africa being stable and peaceful,” he said.

On trade and investment development in Africa, President Ramaphosa disclosed commitments toward strengthening the African Union to increase its capacity to support the achievement of greater integration on the continent.

In this regard, he said: “We want to build a partnership between BRICS and Africa so that our continent can unlock opportunities for increased trade, investment, and infrastructural development.

“There are great opportunities for other BRICS countries to participate in the African Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA) by locating production and services in various countries on the African continent, including our own [South Africa], by partnering with local companies and entrepreneurs.”

But the question on the minds of many people is whether Vladimir Putin’s absence, driven by fears of arrest over war crimes in Ukraine has any impact on the summit.

How can BRICS expansion reshape global energy markets

The summit will discuss several issues, including the possible expansion of membership.

More than 20 countries have formally applied to join BRICS, and several others have expressed an interest in becoming part of the BRICS bloc.

In line with this, President Ramaphosa expressed support for the expansion of the BRICS group of emerging market powers, saying an expanded BRICS will represent a diverse group of nations that share a common desire to have a more balanced world order.

BRICS’ expansion efforts encompass a diverse list of countries, with Argentina, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia among those expressing interest.

Roughly 40 nations are considering participation, driven by economic incentives and the growing economic might of China and India. While the West’s concern is palpable, its focus might be misplaced.

Beneath the surface, a formidable energy-oriented bloc is forming, aligning BRICS with key energy exporters like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and potentially Algeria and the UAE.

Although not officially tied to a BRICS-OPEC+ affiliation, the convergence of interests in the list of participating or invited nations could revolutionize energy and commodity markets.

An integrated alliance of energy giants would reshape global energy supply security, possibly prioritizing BRICS routes.

This also extends to ambitious global supply chain projects, including China’s One Belt One Road, UAE’s port expansions, and Saudi’s Vision 2030 initiatives.

 BRICS’ expansion into Africa and Arab nations

BRICS expansion to Africa particularly in mining, minerals, and metals, merits attention in the coming months.

The inclusion of new members with critical mineral and metal resources could fundamentally shift this coalition, possibly with China and Russia spearheading efforts.

Arab nations like Saudi Arabia and the UAE have also entered the global mining sphere, aligning with renewable energy and decarbonization strategies.

BRICS’ expansion holds implications not just for the US dollar’s dominance but for Western influence and access to energy resources and supply chains.

As Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Algiers, and others pivot toward the East, including Russia, a significant challenge emerges.


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