31.01.2023 Author: Vladimir Danilov

BRICS in global integration processes

Since it’s establishment in 2008, the BRICS forum, in the absence of economic, political or geographical dominance by any of the participating countries, has created comfortable and parity conditions for cooperation between states, steadily deepening it between countries located in different parts of the world on different contingents, in different hemispheres. Potential rivalry among the members of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) has given way to convergent, cumulative cooperation. Each of the members expanded the work to involve new participants or new observers, energized the activities of institutions and civil society, and actively participated in the improvement of relations in the field of economy, finance, social sustainability and political security.  Despite differences in foreign policy positions in a number of areas, the BRICS have remained an important forum for discussing geopolitical trends. These steps alone highlight the multipolarity of the global integration process, in which the members of the association, as countries with actively developing economies, currently play a leading role.

The year 2022 of China’s BRICS chairmanship has given an additional poweful impetus to the BRICS+ format and the interaction of the five key countries of this association with other developing states. Algeria, Argentina, and Iran applied to join the BRICS in June 2022, confirming the organization’s growing appeal in the global economy. After the announcement by the president of the BRICS international forum Purnima Anand at the June virtual XIV summit of the leaders of the association that Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey also intend to become BRICS members in 2023, a number of Western states started talking about the fact that this statement is allegedly just some kind of opportunistic geopolitical game. However, there was nothing surprising in such steps of these three Muslim countries, since the West, with its arrogant and dismissive attitude, itself took Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey out of the brackets, clearly not considering them “promising” for integration into the “Western community” in the future. And this was confirmed by the non-announcement of these three countries, which are very important in current international affairs, to the last G7 summit in Madrid, where, nevertheless, other “non-Western countries” were invited: India, South Africa, Japan, Argentina, Indonesia, South Korea, Senegal, Jordan and Mauritania.

While performing its primary functions, the BRICS association does not pursue any confrontational goals, such as the formation of a new closed economic formation or a political club directed against third countries, which unfortunately abound in various formations established recently by the West. On the contrary, in an era when the world community is confronted with an increasing number of new challenges and threats, the BRICS member states are convinced that only by pooling global efforts can key international problems be solved. The BRICS partnership strategy is to organize mutually beneficial cooperation with other international political and economic organizations in order to develop a program of constructive actions to stabilize the global economy and create a harmonious global order.

The victory of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil’s presidential elections confirmed recent changes in the political situation in Latin America. The unconditional reinforcement of these processes, which led to the formation of new international cooperation principles on this continent, was the election of politicians representing a new wave of independence from Western dictates in Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Honduras, and Colombia, as well as the restoration of the Venezuelan economy, which has suffered from the illegal US sanctions policy since 2014. Argentine President Alberto Fernández confirmed the shift in Latin American policy during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on January 29, saying that his country would not supply weapons to Kyiv’s neo-Nazi regime, as the US insists.

According to the Argentine president, other Latin American countries will follow Buenos Aires’ lead. And this position was recently confirmed by Brazilian President Lula da Silva, who stated that his country would not transfer shells for Leopard tanks to Germany, citing concerns about the appearance of these ammunition in Ukraine, which could harm Latin American countries’ relations with Russia.

Thus, the leaders of Argentina, Brazil, and their Latin American counterparts have clearly demonstrated that they do not intend to sever ties with Moscow in order to advance the geopolitical interests of the West, but rather to pursue an independent foreign policy.

South Africa, which took over the BRICS chairmanship from China on January 1, has already stated in Foreign Ministry statements and speeches that it values its membership in the group and intends to support the effective work of this influential organization in the world, working on the basis of consensus and continuity. As the principal focus of its presidency, South Africa proclaimed the BRICS-Africa collaboration to accelerate growth, sustainable development, and inclusive multipolarity. In terms of new chances for collaboration, South Africa aims to pay close attention to Africa’s growth and the potential involvement of the BRICS in the functioning of the African Continental Free Trade Zone. Musa Mbhele, the president of the administration of the South African city of Durban, has previously called on the BRICS nations to establish a free trade zone to boost the growth of BRICS commercial relations.

Numerous experts and international observers believe that BRICS has already formed the global governance of the twenty-first century, presenting to the world various fundamental concepts, missions, institutionalization models, and priorities that correspond to the current extremely difficult conditions of confrontation with the Western neocolonial policy of domination. The BRICS Business Council’s final report in 2022 featured 39 ideas in the fields of sustainable development, responsible social management, innovation, energy, and food security, all of which are vitally pertinent topics right now. The BRICS interstate organization is playing an increasingly essential and prominent role in the rapidly developing architecture of the multipolar world order. In terms of buying power parity, the BRICS countries’ GDP has already surpassed that of the G7 countries.

Experts anticipate that by 2050, the overall volume of the BRICS economies will exceed that of the G7 economies: USA, Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Japan. As stated during the XIV BRICS summit on June 23, 2022, the BRICS organization, which previously intended only to focus the efforts of the developing world, now intends to strengthen the non-Western world’s resource through expansion in the context of economic and geopolitical confrontation with Western countries.

Vladimir Danilov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.

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