BRICS, an association of five major emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, has become a significant global platform that collectively represents approximately 42% of the world population and about 23% of the global GDP. Its influence on global economic strategies and development policies has propelled countries such as Saudi Arabia to vie for membership.
Saudi Arabia, known for its oil-rich economy, has been vigilantly expanding its international alliances and economic footprints. It sees BRICS as an opportunity to diversify its economy and shift its focus from being predominantly oil-dependent. Joining BRICS will help the country to reorient its economic structure and potentially mitigate any socioeconomic risks.
It is not just about economic gains; Saudi Arabia also considers BRICS as a potential platform to enhance its geopolitical presence. Being a part of BRICS could strengthen Saudi`s strategic positioning at a global level and grant it more influence in defining the agenda of international economic and political discourses.
Saudi Arabia is not the lone country vying for BRICS membership. Countries like Argentina, Indonesia, and Mexico are also reportedly interested. The allure lies in BRICS’ power to provide an alternative vision of global order, particularly at a time when the current liberal, western-dominated system is being interrogated for its effectiveness and inclusivity.
BRICS nations have consistently proven their influence on reforming the global financial architecture. They have launched initiatives such as the New Development Bank, which offers an alternate lending platform to the traditionally western-dominated, International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
However, there are challenges that await these aspiring nations. While the value of BRICS membership is considerable, it would also mean shouldering an equal amount of responsibilities and complying with the association’s policies and decisions.
Despite the challenges, countries like Saudi Arabia are indeed presenting strong and notable candidature to BRICS membership. Through this, they aim to foster diplomacy, promote economic diversification, and surge their influence on a global platform. A potential expansion of BRICS could signify transformations in the global order, challenging the longstanding economic hegemonies.