Johannesburg, South Africa, recently hosted the 15th BRICS summit. At the conclusion of the summit, it was announced that six new nations would join the BRICS group, which already consists of South Africa, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, and Ethiopia in addition to India, Brazil, Russia, and China. The BRICS leaders hope to achieve balance in both international relations and the world economy.
Only six nations have managed to formally join BRICS, with membership taking effect at the beginning of next year, despite the fact that more than 40 nations have shown an interest in doing so and that roughly 24 nations have made official requests to do so.
According to the World Bank's global development indicators, the BRICS bloc has been successful in achieving significant economic growth during the previous 20 years, as the share of its economies in world output climbed from 17.8 percent to 25.7 percent between 2010 and 2022.
In terms of their involvement on the world stage, the BRICS bloc nations are funding ambitious international initiatives like China's "Belt and Road Initiative" and the creation of 100 smart cities connected to express trains in India. In addition, Russia wants to create a new economic link between Europe and Asia with the Russian Far East. The BRICS nations are looking to use their currencies in trade exchange or to start using a different, unified currency for the members of the bloc in an effort to find alternatives to the dollar-based trading system.
Due to its rapid growth, the bloc will by the following year account for nearly 43 percent of the world's oil production, nearly 30 percent of the global gross domestic product, and more than 45 percent of the world's population. This places the bloc in a strong position to influence world politics in the years to come.
There is no doubt that Egypt's membership in the BRICS group opens up promising prospects for cooperation with the economies of its members, increasing the opportunities for trade exchange, bolstering the competitiveness of the Egyptian economy, and aiding in the attraction of more investments to the competitive business environment in Egypt. The BRICS countries also represent an important source of foreign investment flows, opening up more options for Egyptian companies and capitals.
Egypt's membership in BRICS is a sign that its diplomatic efforts to promote its vision for the expansion and diversification of the world economy in support of sustainable development were successful. Additionally, it reaffirms the belief of the bloc nations that Egypt will add significantly to quality at all levels.
Cooperation with the BRICS nations will boost Egypt's position in economic development and regional and global stability given that its economy is one of the dominant powers in the area. While Egypt hopes to diversify its international relationships by joining the BRICS bloc in a way that helps the ambitious national economy, this does not mean that it will not move towards one bloc in exchange for another, as it is always eager to diversify relations with the West and with other international groups at all levels, especially in the economic realm. Therefore, diversifying and strengthening comprehensive economic partnerships is an essential pillar of the Egyptian economic growth plans.
As part of larger plans to double the volume of its output by 2030, Egypt occasionally signs bilateral partnership agreements with a number of nations in addition to joining economic blocs. Diversifying partnerships and stepping up cooperation with all nations is one of the mechanisms for achieving this goal.
By joining the group, Egypt will also gain from expanding its role on the global stage by pursuing a number of objectives. First and foremost is seeking to increase participation and cooperation with nations that are not "BRICS" members, promoting global security and peace for economic growth and political stability, and pledging to reform the international financial institutions so that emerging and developing economies will have a stronger voice. Along with collaborating with the global community to keep multilateral trading systems stable, enhance the climate for international trade and investment, and strive towards achieving the sustainable development targets and multilateral environmental agreements.
Egypt will also play a bigger role in the area as a result of its membership in BRICS, which benefits it on all fronts and in a variety of files and concerns including the water issue and the Renaissance Dam dilemma. The bulk of the bloc's members, particularly China, Russia, and South Africa, have sway over Ethiopia's decision-making processes and the power to exert pressure that could persuade Addis Ababa to be more flexible in its stance while negotiating with Egypt and Sudan to put an end to this situation.
By diversifying their economies, being more open, and fostering stronger cooperation at all levels, member states of the BRICS may be able to support their economies and reap the greatest benefits as a result of the organization's growth and structural strengthening.
* The writer is a researcher in the field of International Relations & Human Rights