By Jaroslav Lissovolik
After several years of being relegated to backstage of the BRICS agenda, in 2022 the BRICS+ format is back and is at the very center of the discussions surrounding China’s chairmanship in the grouping. With the return of the BRICS+ paradigm the BRICS is going from introvert to extrovert and its greater global ambition raises hopes across the wide expanses of the Global South of material changes in the global economic system. The main question now centers on what the main trajectories of the evolution of the BRICS+ framework will be – thus far China appears to have advanced a multi-track approach that targets maximum scope and diversity in the operation of the BRICS-plus paradigm.
One of the novelties of China’s BRICS chairmanship in 2022 has been the launching of the extended BRICS+ meeting at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs that apart from the core BRICS countries also included representatives from Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal in Africa, Argentina from Latin America, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Thailand. And while the inclusion of Saudi Arabia and Indonesia may reflect their role in the G20 and overall size of their economies in the developing world, the inclusion of countries such as Senegal (chairmanship in the African Union in 2022), United Arab Emirates (chairmanship in the Gulf Cooperation Council in 2022) and Argentina (chairmanship in CELAC in 2022) is suggestive of a regional approach to building the BRICS+ platform.
That regional approach was also evidenced in the Forum of political parties, think-tanks and NGOs that was held on May 19th in BRICS+ format – among the countries invited to participate were Cambodia (chairmanship in ASEAN in 2022) as well as Senegal and Argentina that represented Africa and Latin America respectively. In effect China thus presented an inclusive format for dialogue spanning all the main regions of the Global South via aggregating the regional integration platforms in Eurasia, Africa and Latin America. Going forward this format may be further expanded to include other regional integration blocks from Eurasia, such as the GCC, EAEU and others.
During the meeting of foreign ministers of BRICS countries China also announced plans to open up the possibility of developing countries joining the core BRICS grouping. This approach differed to some degree from the line pursued by BRICS in the preceding years, when any expansion outside of the BRICS core was deemed to be the purview of the BRICS+ format. It remains to be seen whether the expansion in the core BRICS grouping is going to be supported by other members, but at this stage it appears unlikely that a speedy accession of any single developing economy is likely in the near term.
One important consideration in the future evolution of the BRICS+ format is its evenhandedness and balance observed between the main regions of the Global South. In this respect the inclusion of several countries into the “core BRICS” group may be fraught with risks of imbalances and asymmetries in terms of the representation of the main regions of the developing world in the core BRICS grouping. There is also the risk of greater complexity in arriving at a consensus with a wider circle of core BRICS members. While the option of joining the core should be kept open, there need to be clear and transparent criteria for the “BRICS accession process”.
Another issue relevant to the evolution of the BRICS+ framework is whether there should be a prioritization of the accession to the BRICS core of those developing economies that are members of the G20 grouping. In my view the G20 track for BRICS is a problematic one – the priorities of the Global South could get weakened and diluted within the broader G20 framework. There is also the question about the efficacy of G20 in coordinating the joint efforts of developing and developed economies in the past several years in overcoming the effects of the pandemic and the economic downturn. Rather than the goal of bringing the largest heavyweights into the core BRICS bloc from the G20 a more promising venue is the greater inclusivity of BRICS via the BRICS+ framework that allows smaller economies that are the regional partners of BRICS to have a say in the new global governance framework.
The next stage in the BRICS+ sequel is to be presented by China in June during the summit of BRICS+ countries. The world will be closely gauging further developments in the evolution of the BRICS+ format, but the most important result of China’s chairmanship in BRICS this year is that BRICS+ is squarely back on the agenda of global governance. The vitality in BRICS development will depend to a major degree on the success of the BRICS+ enterprise – an inert, introvert BRICS has neither global capacity, nor global mission. A stronger, more inclusive and open BRICS has the potential to become the basis for a new system of global governance.
Valdai Discussion Club
As soon as the BRICS+ is up and running, standing on it’s own 2 feet, the G20 members, 1 by 1 will abandon the G20 for a better alternative. That’s what the BRICS is all about.
So where and how do I invest?
Production Yes, Rent No
Thank you for this excellent summary and exposition about BRICS+, looking forward for an update.
Regarding CELAC, the leader is Mexico, and its an organization that covers all America with the exception of USA, Canada and Brasil (this is a Bolsonaro thing that will change with Lula), Mexico (somewhere between 12 and 16 economy) may not join in the first stage, (“too close to the US, too far away from god”), but it is key particularly with Central american and caribbean nations commerce and finance (wich is the Achilles heel of the region, as per US design)
BRICS is a unique title to start with for that relates to a foundation. All nations should consider being a part of the BRICS nations of global government. I would think it could be a Union of groups of nations not a United Nations style where ever nation has an equal vote, but where every union of nations ( block of nations) has an equal voice. Very interesting and many ideas to think about.
A crucial and essential understanding of the world we live in is knowing that the planet is made up of 2 major cultural identities. These two identities are classified as the Classical World and the New World identities.
In very general terms, the New World is different from the Classical World or ‘old world’ because it, the new world, emerged mainly from the Western Europa-Africa Slavery experience which is, remains, and has always been the bedrock of the New Worlds identity and cultural evolution including its attempts to escape it. All the same, it is real, historical, inherited and a contemporary fact. I am not seeking to make a moral judgement here but am just stating general and objective facts.
Also generally speaking, the Classical World, in contrast to the new, is a world comprised of nations and people that have an natural and unbroken connection to their geographic roots and local heritage and who have also been, just as importantly, most influenced by interactions with the Islamic-Arab World. (Geographically the Islamic Arab world is the vast region that lies between the 3 continents of Europa-Russia, Africa, and Asia and which is larger in size and scope than Russia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_by_country) This core Islamic ‘central’ continent plus Asia, Europe, and Africa ALL TOGETHER are the Classical World – the “Silk World” and it is a world everyone is a member of – directly or indirectly by ancestry. It is the “Original Homeland” of mankind and the originator of the New world.
In terms of influence the Islamic Arab world has had, we see clear and major examples of this in North, Central and eastern African peoples who converted and are now Muslim – Translation? The majority of Africans are Muslim, period. We see the influence and heritage of Islamic-Arab world also in a major country like India – both in culture, heritage and population size. We see it in Indonesia, Malaysia and so on. What about Western and Eastern European nations whose contact with the Islamic World during their dark ages was for a period of more than 1,000 years? You can read about the influence of the Islamic-Arab World on them from their own writings. While this influence never reached the degree of conversion or adoption of the creed, you can see who and what was uppermost in their minds until their historical breakout 250 years ago.
The point of all this is to consider seeing the planet as a New World and Classical world and to logically recognize that the BRICS countries are all Classical world countries. Brazil is the exception but Brazil is a special country that has always recognized the Classical world as “brotherly nations” and is a country has never found any reason to repudiate her roots and origins.
Seeing the planet in this “dual” way clarifies a lot of things and makes prediction, strategic planning and practicing patience easier. It makes the allocation of attention and resources by the Classical world nations crystal clear.
Or putting it more simply in today’s language, the world is divided between socialist and financial capitalist camps, who want to privatize all states assets, to grant more money to the bankers, who create money out of thin air as debt.
You might want to read “Why Socialism” written by Albert Einstein in 1949.
I’m sorry but no thanks.