BRICS has decided to welcome five new members to its alliance. The bloc’s leaders announced that they had invited Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to join the group. Full membership will take effect on January 1, 2024.
The expansion of BRICS has been seen as a way for the group to increase its influence in the global economy and politics. The new members are all major economies in their own right, and their addition to BRICS will give the group a more diverse membership and a wider range of interests.
The expansion of BRICS is also seen as a way for the group to counter the influence of the West. The United States and its allies have been critical of BRICS, accusing the group of being autocratic and protectionist. The addition of new members from the Middle East and Africa will give BRICS a stronger foothold in these regions, which are seen as increasingly important in the global economy.
However, it is important to dissect the impact of the new members on the bloc. These new members have joined the bloc for different reasons. BRICS accepted Iran for military purposes; Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt joined the bloc for commercial reasons, and Argentina joined the bloc for economic reasons.
Argentina is perhaps the weakest member of the five new members joining the bloc. There are indeed some risks associated with Argentina's membership in BRICS. The group has been criticized for its lack of transparency and accountability. Argentina is among the countries with the highest level of inflation.
Argentina has a history of economic instability, with high inflation, debt, and unemployment. This instability could pose a risk to the BRICS, as Argentina is a relatively large economy and its problems could spill over to other BRICS members. For example, if Argentina experiences a financial crisis, it could lead to a decline in demand for goods and services from other BRICS members. This could hurt the economies of these countries and could lead to a slowdown in global economic growth.
In addition, Argentina's economic problems could make it more difficult for the BRICS to cooperate on issues such as trade and investment. If Argentina is unable to repay its debts, it could make other BRICS members less willing to lend money to other countries in the group. This could make it more difficult for the BRICS to achieve its goals of economic development and reform.
Argentina’s membership could potentially reduce trade. If Argentina's economy weakens, it will likely import less from other BRICS countries. This could hurt the export-oriented economies of these countries. It could also reduce investment because foreign investors may be less likely to invest in Argentina if they are concerned about the country's economic stability. This could reduce the availability of capital for investment in other BRICS countries.
However, for Argentina, this membership is the golden ticket to a better economic future. Indeed, BRICS could provide Argentina with access to new markets and investment opportunities. The group's combined GDP is over $27 trillion, and its members are major consumers of commodities such as soybeans, corn, and beef, which are Argentina's main exports. BRICS could also provide Argentina with financing for infrastructure projects, which are essential to the country's economic development.
Time will tell how the relationship between Argentina and BRICS will evolve. So far, based on the current economic condition of Argentina, it will be a falsehood to say that Argentina will add substantial value to the BRICS Alliance.