Despite boasting about 20-odd countries wanting to join, the five BRICS member countries themselves don’t all agree that expansion would be a good idea.
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The expansion of BRICS has been the main issue at the meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers in Cape Town last week. The meeting included a Friends of BRICS component where 13 other nations joined the five BRICS member nations either in person or by video.
The problem is that the five BRICS members themselves are not united about the merits of expanding membership, let alone the criteria for accepting applicants. Official sources have told Daily Maverick that while China is enthusiastic about expanding membership and SA and Russia are keen, Brazil and especially India are “dead against.”
A large part of the reason for their opposition is that expanding membership would dilute their relative importance in the bloc. But there are also concerns about the criteria for admitting new members. BRICS officials have said that one of these would be to establish common BRICS values. But what would those be?
Another topic of discussion at the foreign ministers’ meeting is the need for BRICS countries to conduct trade and financial transactions in their own currencies rather than the US dollar. Pandor said this would help reduce the vulnerability of countries to US sanctions.
There has also been a wider discussion about the BRICS countries establishing their own currency to further reduce their dependence on the dollar.
However, SA’s “sherpa” on BRICS – the official in charge of this year’s summit – insisted that “It’s never been a topic amongst BRICS countries including amongst their finance ministers, we have never spoken about de-dollarisation.
Read the full article published by Daily Maverick HERE.
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