As the global economy strives to shift away from Western Dollar dominance, the conversation around the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) bloc is gaining momentum.
The United States and the United Kingdom have expressed concerns about the emerging BRICS alliance, while the European Union is inclined to support it. The term “BRIC” was coined in 2001 by economist Jim O’Neil to recognize the potential of emerging economies. The alliance expanded to include South Africa and focuses on peace and development for developing countries.
The BRICS countries now have a higher GDP than the G7 coalition.
The Rise of BRICS and Changing Global Dynamics
Back in 2001, Goldman Sachs published a report highlighting the immense potential of BRIC economies, projecting their outpacing of the G-7 nations by 2050 in key economic indicators.
The BRICS bloc contributes 31.5% of global GDP based on purchasing power parity and is projected to account for 50% of the world’s GDP by 2030. The inclusion of prospective members like Bangladesh adds an intriguing dimension to the evolving dynamics of the BRICS bloc.
During the recent meeting of BRICS foreign ministers in Cape Town, South Africa, the focus was on expanding beyond the existing framework. Over 20 countries, including Pakistan, have applied for BRICS membership, indicating ongoing shifts in the global balance of power. Bangladesh, emphasizing economic expansion and infrastructure development, finds an ideal platform within BRICS to build multilateral relationships.
These developments reflect changes in the world power balance and make the conversation around Bangladesh’s potential membership in BRICS thought-provoking and indicative of shifting global dynamics.
Anticipated reports indicate that the official entry of Bangladesh into BRICS is set to occur during the upcoming August 2023 summit, signifying a vital milestone in the alliance’s expansion and its impact on the global stage.
Bangladesh’s Prospective Membership in BRICS: Implications
The potential entry of Bangladesh into BRICS could have far-reaching geopolitical implications, challenging the long-standing dominance of Western powers and ushering in a more diverse and multipolar world order.
By welcoming a second member from the South Asian region, BRICS would strengthen its collective influence, fortify its legitimacy, and expand its perspectives.
This heightened diversity of voices within BRICS holds power to shatter the monopoly of Western powers over global discourse, paving the way for a new era where a broad spectrum of perspectives shapes global narratives.
BRICS is steadfast in its mission to establish itself as a formidable alternative platform to Western-dominated institutions like the IMF and the World Bank. With Bangladesh joining the ranks, the alliance’s alternative platform would be further fortified, signaling a resounding call for reforms in global governance.
The collective influence of BRICS would mount, challenging Western dominance and prompting global decisions to increasingly incorporate the perspectives and priorities of emerging powers such as Bangladesh. This shift would foster a more balanced, inclusive, and representative approach to forging global policies and setting agendas.
Furthermore, the inclusion of Bangladesh in BRICS would reverberate through the power dynamics within South Asia, empowering regional autonomy and assertiveness. By providing regional countries with an alternative platform to address their challenges, BRICS would diminish their reliance on Western-dominated institutions, granting them greater agency and the ability to confidently assert their preferences and interests.
This recalibration of regional dynamics would align harmoniously with the aspirations and needs of BRICS members, challenging the influence of Western powers and allowing for a more balanced distribution of power.
Consider the case of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), established as an alternative to traditional global financial institutions dominated by the United States and the European Union. With Bangladesh joining BRICS, adding another member reinforces the alternative power structure represented by the NDB, potentially sidelining the established powers’ control over shaping the bank’s policies and decisions.
The addition of Bangladesh, with its large population and emerging economy, brings immense potential to the table. By actively participating in shaping BRICS’ agenda and decision-making processes, Bangladesh can leverage its growth potential to influence the direction of this influential alliance.
Economic Dominance and a Balanced Global Economic Order
The inclusion of Bangladesh into BRICS presents a transformative opportunity to enhance the alliance’s economic influence, challenging established powers and fostering a more balanced and inclusive global economic order.
Bangladesh’s emergence as one of the fastest-growing economies globally and its thriving manufacturing sector and robust industries holds immense promise for trade, investment, and collaboration within BRICS.
By joining BRICS, Bangladesh strengthens the collective force of emerging economies, disrupting the dominance of established powers in the global economic landscape. This shift in the balance of economic power necessitates adaptations from established powers to maintain their influence and competitiveness.
As the combined GDP of BRICS countries, including Bangladesh, continues to grow, it becomes imperative for established powers to recognize and respond to the shifting dynamics in global governance and trade negotiations.
Furthermore, the integration of Bangladesh in BRICS aligns with the concept of de-dollarization, which challenges the dominance of the US dollar in global transactions. As BRICS countries gain economic strength, their collective influence mounts, and the idea of a common currency gains traction.
Reports suggest that Russia, one of the BRICS members, actively works on a proposal for a common currency within the alliance, which the upcoming August summit will discuss. Such a move would not only further challenge the dominance of the US dollar but also symbolize the increasing economic autonomy and influence of BRICS as a collective entity.
Counter Argument: Challenges and Considerations
While Bangladesh’s potential entry into BRICS presents geopolitical implications and challenges for the West, several factors need to be considered to assess the extent of this challenge.
Firstly, joining BRICS would require substantial investments from Bangladesh, potentially impacting its ability to challenge the West in the short term. The allocation of resources toward meeting the economic and developmental objectives of BRICS will shape Bangladesh’s overall impact within the alliance.
Internal challenges such as poverty, infrastructure gaps, and political stability could hinder Bangladesh’s leverage of its potential within BRICS.
External factors, including geopolitical tensions within BRICS or clashes of interest among member countries, may also impact the collective influence of the alliance and restrict Bangladesh’s scope for influence.
Furthermore, the alignment of interests among BRICS nations is not guaranteed, as they may have differing economic models, political ideologies, and strategic objectives.
These differences could impede the collective effort to challenge Western powers. Moreover, Western powers possess the capacity to respond and adapt to changing global dynamics.
Their strategies to mitigate the potential challenges posed by Bangladesh’s entry into BRICS, such as reinforcing alliances, diversifying partnerships, or implementing policies to maintain economic influence, will shape the dynamics between Bangladesh and the West within the BRICS framework.
In conclusion, while Bangladesh’s inclusion in BRICS raises significant considerations, including investment requirements, internal and external challenges, alignment of interests, and the response of Western powers, understanding these factors is crucial in assessing the overall impact of Bangladesh’s potential entry into BRICS on challenging Western powers.
**The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Diplomatic Insight. The organization neither endorses nor assumes any responsibility for the content of this article.