Saudi Arabia is the top candidate to join the BRICS, followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Undoubtedly, Riyadh’s admission adds economic weight to the bloc. It also solidifies shifts in its foreign policy, which is now aimed at reducing its historical dependence on the West and gaining broader manoeuvring space for alliances and relations to be able to play larger regional and international roles. The same applies to the foreign policy of the UAE.
Algeria and Egypt are at the forefront of the list of countries interested in joining BRICS. Algeria is driven by its official anti-Western colonialism stance and strong ties with Moscow since independence. Egypt, which played a leading role in the non-aligned movement, seems to have more practical and timely reasons for joining the group, due to its ongoing chronic economic crisis. Except for the regular annual meetings of the group’s leaders, the ambitious project of BRICS to resist Western dominance doesn’t seem to have materialised practically.
Western dominance remains intact and entrenched without significant or immediate challenges. However, in the medium term, countries grappling with chronic crises regarding their dollar reserves, like Egypt, might benefit from loans without stringent conditions or conditions that are less biased than those imposed by the IMF. As for economies heavily reliant on their exports of fossil fuels or raw materials in general, such as Saudi Arabia and Algeria, the expansion of the group might undermine the West’s absolute monopoly over pricing mechanisms and improve the terms of economic exchange between the North and the South.
[by Shady Lewis in Al-Modon]
Translated and compiled by Faizul Haque