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Dhaka Tribune

BRICS summit 2023: Shaping a new global order

As a consortium of the world's five fastest-growing economies, BRICS exudes profound economic optimism

Update : 30 Jul 2023, 08:46 PM

As South Africa eagerly anticipates hosting the distinguished 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg from 22nd to 24th August 2023, the world holds its breath, awaiting the unfolding of this influential alliance on the global stage. Originally conceived as BRIC and later joined by South Africa, BRICS serves as a beacon of economic optimism, offering an alternative global order to challenge the dominance of traditional institutions.

With a notable track record of accomplishments through the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, BRICS draws interest from numerous nations seeking an equitable platform for representation. This defining moment calls for unity and commitment, promising a future of fairness and prosperity for the Global South.

Initially formed as BRIC, an ingenious concept proposed by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neil in 2001, the alliance comprised Brazil, Russia, India, and China—representing burgeoning emerging markets with significant economic prowess. In a momentous development in 2010, South Africa joined, giving rise to the acronym BRICS, which embodies a formidable bloc of nations.

As a consortium of the world's five fastest-growing economies, BRICS exudes profound economic optimism. Comprising 3.2 billion people, accounting for 42% of the total world population, BRICS economies represent 27% of global GDP and over 18% of global trade. Moreover, these countries contribute to 50% of total global economic growth, making them the key drivers of global prosperity.

The accomplishments of BRICS are evident through establishing the New Development Bank (NDB) in 2014, with an initial capital of $50 billion equally contributed by member countries. The NDB serves as a new multilateral bank, providing an alternative to the Bretton Woods Institutions—the IMF and the World Bank. With a fair governance structure, democratic representation, and a consultative approach, the NDB offers faster financing without stringent conditions imposed by the IMF.

Additionally, the Contingent Reserve Arrangement operates as a liquidity mechanism supporting BRICS member countries facing balance of payment issues. A series of swap arrangements among the central banks of BRICS member countries facilitate currency exchange to address payment crises.

The success of these mechanisms has attracted many other emerging economies and developing countries dissatisfied with past experiences of IMF's structural adjustment programs and austerity measures, leading to a growing interest in joining BRICS.

As a resounding testament to its burgeoning legitimacy and significance, BRICS has witnessed 19 nations expressing their desire to join. Countries like Iran, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Mexico, Argentina, and Nigeria seek to embrace the appeal of the BRICS family and become part of this prestigious alliance, united in their pursuit of prosperity and stability.

The changing geopolitical landscape challenges the traditional dominance of the US-led West, rendering BRICS increasingly relevant. BRICS member countries have sought to reduce reliance on the US dollar, particularly amid Western sanctions on Russia following the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Many nations reevaluate their dollar-denominated debt and explore alternatives to ensure stability and security.

While BRICS faces certain vulnerabilities, such as the risk of becoming China-centric, the alliance courageously presents an alternative vision of the global order. Founded on equity and sovereign equality values, BRICS unites voices of all nations, transcending economic magnitude.

As the BRICS Summit gathers in South Africa, a defining moment arises, beckoning member nations to seize the opportunity and shape an unprecedented global economic governance system that is inclusive, efficient, and all-encompassing. In the midst of turbulent geopolitical currents, BRICS countries bear a profound responsibility, possessing an extraordinary chance to reshape the world order, granting greater equity and voice to the Global South.

This pivotal occasion demands a grand display of strength, unity, and unwavering commitment to forging a more just and balanced tomorrow. The unfolding events at the BRICS Summit shall resonate far beyond economic cooperation, echoing the profound impact of nations working hand in hand toward a shared vision of a better world.

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