BRICS: Capacities & Opportunities

2024/06/23 | Economy, Note, top news

Strategic Council Online—Opinion: Recently, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that BRICS is currently reviewing about 30 requests from different countries proposing various forms of cooperation. The increase in the number of countries applying for membership in the BRICS group indicates the growing importance of this group in the political and economic relations of the international system.

Amin Rezainejad – expert on East Asian issues

The most important achievements of BRICS countries can be seen in the institutions created by this political club. The New Development Bank (NDB), the Conditional Reserve Arrangement (CRA), and the BRICS Payment System are institutions designed to correspond to the traditional structures of the international economy. For example, the BRICS payment system will replace SWIFT. Also, the BRICS reserve arrangement is a financial cooperation mechanism to support the group members in the challenges and possible economic crises created by the BRICS countries in 2014, and it can practically challenge the leverage of the loan payment from the International Monetary Fund in the future. The new development bank is also trying to challenge the dominance of the US dollar in the international economy by issuing a license to pay loans in the currencies of the BRICS countries. On the other hand, consultations to form a common currency as the fourth BRICS future process are still ongoing, and if successful, they can create a powerful currency block with a market as large as three-quarters of the world’s population. The increase in the number of BRICS members in all four cases will be progressive and positive. Like other traditional financial arrangements in the world that gain strength with the increase of members, this structure will also become stronger in the future.

It should be said that during the past 16 years until now, BRICS has been unable to create stable and institutionalized economic, financial and commercial relations among its members, which would become the basis for a relative transformation in the structure of the international economy. The main reason for this should be sought in the essence of BRICS. BRICS is a political club whose formation is simply a reaction to the unilateralism of the United States and its excessive use of sanctions. BRICS does not want to challenge the international economic system and introduce a new plan. Still, it has come to simply make the tools used by the old powers in the field of political economy useless for the benefit of emerging powers. For this reason, BRICS has a great potential ability to maintain the status quo, and the search for what is considered political will to change the status quo in the international politics literature is doubtful in this organization.

Nevertheless, as some experts say, the Islamic Republic’s membership in BRICS cannot be considered useless, although one should not dream about its membership either. It should not be forgotten that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s challenges with the traditional international system were not formed in a vacuum and were in response to oppressive arrangements against the Iranian people. As a result, even the Islamic Republic of Iran is trying to change the oppressive atmosphere in favor of itself and its allies. In addition to forming competing structures to adjust traditional arrangements, BRICS is exactly the same club that has become a place for consultation with countries that want to develop their economy in a peaceful atmosphere, and this is a favorable point for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

On the other hand, we should not forget that the economic structures in all world countries – except for a few countries such as North Korea – have a neoliberal nature. The welfare states after Reagan and Thatcher are disappearing, and even the seemingly communist China and Russia, which was the birthplace of the world’s first communist state, have adopted the neoliberal theory. However, it should be noted that the degree to which neoliberalism is practiced varies among different countries, and even among the EU member states that have a common currency, there are differences in this field. BRICS is no exception to this. However, BRICS has come to maintain and strengthen governments’ authority within their borders.

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