Next week is shaping up to be an important week, as BRICS countries will gather in Johannesburg for a summit hosted by South Africa from 22 to 24 August, and literally dozens of countries from the ‘Global South’ will be queuing up to attend.

Add to this that both Russian and Indian lunar missions are expected to touch down on Earth’s satellite within days of the club meeting, and you have what promises to be a historic event.

South Africa’s President Ramaphosa will host Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazil’s Lula da Silva and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – Putin will participate via video link and will be represented by Foreign Minister Lavrov.

reuters informed of:

“BRICS leaders will meet in South Africa next week to discuss how to transform a loose club of countries that account for a quarter of the global economy into a geopolitical force that can challenge the West’s dominance of world affairs.”

The BRICS are bound by skepticism about a world order serving the interests of the United States and its allies by promoting international norms that they enforce but do not respect.

“Few details have emerged about what they plan to discuss, but expansion is expected to top the agenda According to South Africa, 40 countries have expressed interest in joining either formally or informally. These include Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Egypt.

[…] China, seeking to expand its geopolitical influence because of its feud with the United States, wants to rapidly expand BRICS. While Brazil is opposed to expansion, it fears it could undermine the already weak club’s stature.

Russia needs new friends to counter its ‘diplomatic isolation’ over Ukraine, and is therefore keen to bring in new members.

“The BRICS countries are keen to project themselves as alternative development partners to the West. China’s foreign ministry said BRICS seeks to reform global governance systems “to increase the representation of developing countries and emerging markets”.

When Goldman Sachs coined the acronym BRIC in 2001, it had no idea it would become a real thing. Brazil, Russia, India and China held their first summit in 2009, and South Africa was invited to join a year later.

in the beginning, ‘The group will issue distorted communiques about the unfaithful West – which the unfaithful West will promptly ignore.’

But now, with the commencement of the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, the grouping has gained more relevance.

Lula of Brazil, Putin of Russia, Modi of India, Xi of China, Ramaphosa of South Africa.

economist informed of:

“The meeting will focus on how the bloc has been rejuvenated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising tensions between the West and China. BRICS members, led by Beijing, are considering whether to expand and deepen the bloc. Some middle powers see the group as a potential vehicle for their own interests. The bloc says that more than 40 countries have either applied to join or expressed interest in doing so.

A “Big Brix” could pose a challenge to the West. China’s efforts to enlarge the bloc reveal tensions and contradictions, as Russia follows suit, but Brazil, India and South Africa are less keen on it.

“The block also provides support at isolated times. Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro turned to the BRICS after his ally Donald Trump left the White House. These days Russia needs BRICS more than ever. At the Foreign Ministers meeting your correspondent tried to ask the Russian Ambassador to South Africa what is the purpose of this group for his country. “To make more friends,” he growled.

China’s position as the largest economy in the grouping is hard to ignore.

“Even as the grouping is debating expansion, it is deepening its existing ties. On top of the annual summit of bigwigs is a long list of meetings with academics, firms, ministers, ruling parties and think-tanks from BRICS members and their friendly countries. Some of these may sound like per-day excuses. […] But Oliver Stuenkel of the Brazilian think-tank Getulio Vargas Foundation argues that the importance of relationships with authorities should not be overlooked. ‘These meetings are often monotonous but they allow bureaucrats to globalize their networks.’

The group has set up a ‘Contingency Reserve Arrangement’, a mini-IMF – a series of swap lines for central banks to get hard currency when they have balance of payments problems. A Mini World Bank – the New Development Bank (NDB) was also created.

A common, gold-backed BRICS reserve currency is something Putin has claimed the bloc has been working on for over a year now, but it is unclear when it will be launched.

The Johannesburg summit clash is expected to be a defining moment for the club.

Nation informed of:

“But another context of the meeting is the growing importance of the Global South, most clearly brought out by nuanced reactions in Asia, Africa and Latin America to the Ukraine war.”

It has created spaces for dialogue where Washington and its main allies are not welcome – even if they invite themselves, as France’s Macron tried to do.

“After the foundational years of 2009-10 and the creation of its Development Finance Unit (New Development Bank) in 2015, the present moment appears to be the next fork in the road for BRICS. There are two major items on the agenda for the August summit – first, finding a way to trade and invest with each other by stopping the use of the US dollar, and second, adding new states to the club.”

Their goal is to change the global financial system, which is dominated by the US dollar and heavily influenced by the US Federal Reserve.

This puts all other countries at the mercy of measures such as US interest rates and quantitative easing, and also enables a regime of harsher US-led sanctions.

“De-dollarization – even limited to trade among the five BRICS countries – is an extremely ambitious goal, and it is difficult to expect significant progress. The preparation required to generate such a pose is tremendous. This involves habits of very deep coordination by the central banks of the respective countries, which do not yet exist.”

There has been a flood of interest from ‘Global South’ states. No two news outlets agree on how many people are asking for admission, but the number has ranged from 18 to 40.

“While there are differences of opinion on expansion within the grouping, China is pushing hardest for expansion with some Russian support. But India and Brazil are careful, they want a very slow process in which the expansion is done in stages and after some kind of intermediate position is given.

This East-South group has subtle links with the West. While Russia and China are locked in a military and economic rivalry with the United States, other BRICS countries see the grouping as a way to create a ‘parallel structure of power and influence’ in a world in which Washington is often frustrated. and sometimes a great hindrance to some of their core interests.

If all this was not enough, there is also the fact that both India and Russia have embarked on lunar exploration with their space missions. A landing on the Moon’s south pole is expected to take place during the summit, which will add a larger-than-life dimension to the event.

Artificial satellite informed of:

“India’s Chandrayaan-3 and Russia’s Luna-25 missions are set to propel both countries forward in the field of lunar exploration.

Chandrayaan-3, India’s third lunar mission, aims to successfully land a rover on the lunar surface. In addition, Russia’s Luna-25 mission aspires to conduct a comprehensive study of the Moon’s surface and atmosphere.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *