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The BRICS Bloc Expansion and Ethiopia Membership

BRICS is referred to as a bloc of countries, including Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. First, it was established by four other countries in 2009 and then invited South Africa to the bloc in 2010 for a strategic alliance with African content. Following the establishment, they did not deal with the expansion issue for decades. With due respect, from the beginning, they got numerous countries' attention to those who needed to join the bloc increased over time, it is estimated that 40 countries applied. Conversely, the leaders of BRICS in the 15th #BRICSSummit2023 held in Johannesburg, South Africa reached a consensus and agreed to invite six countries to full membership that is put into effect on 01 January 2024. The invited new member countries are Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Such a step is considered by the majority including China as a means of strengthening the BRICS aim to foster the Global South in a multipolar world order to challenge the Western dominance system. The bloc is estimated to be about 40% of the global population with a GDP of one-third of the global in the former, however, later this number increased to 46% of the global population in the World and GDP can also be boosted soon with the contribution of the new members.

This work focuses on an overview of BRICS analysis to figure out and address what Ethiopia is benefiting from this group as the ultimate goal in the context of socioeconomic-political perspectives.

Source: Google Photo

The comparison between the G7 and BRICS economic share of global GDP in 2010 and 2023 revealed that the BRICS bloc economy rises from time to time to overtake the G7 hegemony dominance system. For instance, in 2010 the G7 and BRICS bloc economies' share of global GDP at the purchasing power parity is estimated to be 34.3 percent and 26.6 percent respectively. However, in 2023 the BRICS share increased to 32.1 percent which makes the bloc economy one-third (1/3) of the global GDP and the G7 economic share declined to 29.9 percent.

Source: Statista Website

BRICS Members Expansion Strategy

The BRICS's utmost target in expanding is to strengthen the emerging economy countries in socioeconomic-political empowerment in the Golbal-South and to decrease the impactful of the Western countries in the region after all. The BRICS bloc strategy is built and stands on three pillars such as political and security, financial and economic cooperation, and cultural and people-to-people cooperation. The political and security segments are the first and backbone of the bloc cooperation. Thus the cooperation built on "the principles of mutual respect, sovereign equality, inclusiveness, consensus and strengthened collaboration” in peace and security matters. The second pillar is also focused on the contemporary ultimate goal of economic growth in the global arena. Therefore, the BRICS bloc targets in order to work together in line with various issues including trading, industry, agricultural products, tourism, and energy, among others to expand cooperation on economic development partnership through the bloc countries.

Source: Google Photo

The bloc established the New Development Bank in 2015 as an alternative to the Western economic system to alter their influence through tools such as the World Bank and IMF on emerging countries to form a new vision of economic development and growth in a brand new networking system. Conversely, the head of the European Investment Bank warned the Western government they might lose the confidence of the “Global South” unless they did not support poorer countries immediately as far as possible. Nevertheless, primarily the New Development Bank aimed credit to the bloc members with the aspects;

“with a AAA and AA+ credit rating to play a catalytic role in providing financial support to emerging markets and developing countries for infrastructure gap, sustainable development and equity in power-sharing.”

The third pillar focused on accelerating industrialization by the 4.0 Industry revolution platform aligned with research and innovation, sharing of experience, and remote sensing satellite constellation among others. The ultimate goal of the corporation is expected to strengthen the Global-South geopolitical effective collaborations to overtake the Western hegemony system in all aspects.

The BRICS bloc's most strategic areas are technology transfer and networking in line with to development and building of the largest economic empowerment between the group to access new markets, strongly collaborating on geopolitical peace and security issues, trade and financial partnerships access to credit from the New Development bank easily and trading facilities using local currency in particular, agricultural products, tourism and various services, as well as cultural and people-to-people relation. In this context, the bloc is expected to build strong economic empowerment and political influence which favors for the emerging countries in the Global South against the Western hegemony at large.

Source: Google

Ethiopia as a Member of BRICS

Dr. Abiy Ahmed (Primister of Ethiopia) said on his Twitter and Facebook page via social media, "This is a historical moment for our country toward an inclusive and prosperous global order. BRICS is one of the strongest and most popular blocs nowadays in the global in terms of population and GDP. Even though many countries applied to join the bloc, but only six countries accepted this term by fulfilling the criteria set by the bloc. This is also a great achievement for the Ethiopian government and the Ethiopian people due to the sound effective diplomatic success carried out. The other main reasons why Ethiopia was let into the BRICS are; first our history in the global arena, second for our fastest GDP growth, and prosperous achievement, another issue is our green legacy and green energy policy and implementation, a self-sufficient endeavor in terms of food items in agricultural activities as well as the success of Ethiopia's diplomacy in the unilateral and bilateral collaboration with BRICS leaders among the others.”

Source: Google Photo

As far as expecting to get the necessary benefits from this group a new structure that is merged from various sectors and integrated of a “Focal Committee” might be established at the country's level which includes its members from the Minister of Finance, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Innovation and Technology, Minister of Industry, Minister of Planning and development, Ministry of urbanization and Infrustrucure and Ministry of Tourism among others, Embassy of BRICS’s bloc countries, and R&D centers from selected University in business, agriculture, and other related fields as well as including step-by-step entire stakeholders procedural from public and private leading organizations (i.e., individuals investors), who highly work with the bloc countries in import and export to foster and improve new corridors and opportunities in the new marketplace with new hope, high potentials, and promising in terms of value-added services and resources such as raw materials products, human capital as well as know-how skills to robust economic development and growth in particular.

The recommended focal committee should be to prepare reports monthly at least once accordingly. This means it needs more sound strategy development and reform in the existing policy in line with the BRICS target that is what must be focused on as specialization areas to deal with and make partnerships with each country as individuals as well as a whole in a sound framework. Such initiatives enhance the entire sector's effectiveness and efficiency properly, improve experience sharing, and foster expert training regard to short and long-term periods between membership group collaboration and partnerships rely on a win-win strategy aligned with productive project funding.

Conclusion and Remarks

Ethiopia is commencing its homegrown economic development and reform policy in 2020. So far the opportunity of gotten to join the BRICS bloc is expected to strengthen and assist Ethiopia in meeting more of its interests in terms of socioeconomic and political aspects growth including the financial market facilities, peace and security issues, agriculture product improvement in exporting, industry and infrastructure facilities, and technology transfer, and tourism destination among others to generate proportionate revenues that create new job opportunities and employment in micro-economic as well as at macro-economic level.

In this context, Ethiopia can benefit from this alliance if it works smartly towards import and export sectors properly in accordance with what this group market demands highly from it and Ethiopia also provides supplies using these opportunities rather than in the former period. It is crucial to keep in mind that, new challenges and risks, as well as bureaucracy and regulation issues, are there as usual, but overcoming such handicaps, shortcomings, and limitations is extremely important in the scope of a timely manner, and dealing with these opportunities, especially trading and partnership through local currency via New Development Bank make the journey smoothly in some aspect to overcome struggling of hard currency issues at the moment in another side at least. So it is vital to know what and which products and how they deal with these groups to proceed quickly by establishing the focal committee aforementioned above from numerous sectors and a significant advisory committee in addition under various ministers as well as among other institutions that work in related arenas in a well-organized manner on this issue seriously to enhance the benefit of the country and produce a necessary report once at least per month or at least once per quarterly-based accordingly.



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