The BRICS and the Caribbean’s interest


With only a few days left, there has been great anticipation as to the outcome of the 15th BRICS Summit. This historic Summit is scheduled to take place in South Africa August 22- 24, 2023. Almost prematurely, close observers sense major policy changes before the deliberations have begun. Indeed, the Summit will mark the first time the BRICS will meet face to face in person since the desultory impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent global restrictions.

Invitations to attend the summit have been extended to sixty-seven leaders from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Also, twenty dignitaries including the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and the President of the New Development Bank have been invited. Business leaders are also expected to be in attendance.

BRICS-Does it matter?

The term “BRIC,” which is an alliance of the world’s major economies namely, Brazil, Russia, India, China, was first coined by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill in 2001. He posited that by 2050, the four BRIC economies would come to dominate the global economy. South Africa was added to the list in 2010 which changed the acronym to BRICS.

Currently, the BRICS group accounts for 42% of the world population and has evolved into one of the world’s most crucial economic blocs. In fact, it accounts collectively for more than 26% of the global economy. Even more, BRICS offers an alternative forum for countries outside diplomatic channels seen as dominated by traditional Western powers. Its influence and economic heft have more nations eager to join.

So far twenty-three countries have shown serious interest and have formally applied to become new BRICS members. They include Saudi Arabia, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Indonesia, Egypt, and Ethiopia.

What to expect at the 15th BRICS Summit?

The Summit is likely to attract global attention as there are high expectations among observers and participants alike about the outcomes of the meeting. Major outcomes will fall in these areas: (1) significant discussions on global
geopolitics; (2) concerted efforts to increase South-South trade and infrastructure development; (3) a serious strategy to combat global climate change and sustainable development. One of the most important and controversial topics up for discussion will be BRICS expansion particularly the admission criteria and guiding principles.

Given the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, Russia will embrace this opportunity to prevent its isolation due to severe Western sanctions. At a time of tension with the United States, China will seek to increase its political clout. India seems to be in agreement with extending the olive branch to new members and maintaining a neutral stance on the geopolitical hot issues in the Black Sea and Taiwan. However, Brazil has recently displayed hesitation with the fast inclusion of new members.

Also, BRICS’s controversial proposition of a new, gold-backed currency will be tabled for discussion. Although many have questioned the motivations behind this, the policy reflects the BRICS’s desire to reduce reliance on the U.S. dollar.

BRICS and The Caribbean

Except for Cuba, presently, no public announcement has been made of which Caribbean leaders will be in attendance. The question is: will leaders in the Caribbean consider becoming members of this ascendant global bloc?
Another important question is: what mutually beneficial development interests can be garnered with additional Caribbean states joining BRICS?

With China at the forefront as the most important member of BRICS, joining that body is attractive.

During the past two decades, China has been a major investor in infrastructure, and the funder of Chinese private sector-led ventures across the region. These BRICS countries are not just trading partners but indispensable allies for fostering trade, attracting investment, and fostering deep economic cooperation. Collaborating with BRICS could be viewed as a new catalyst for propelling economic growth and diversification across the region, primarily due to the region’s resources.

Developing Caribbean states share similar challenges and opportunities, such as abject poverty, inequality, and poor public infrastructure. Hence, cooperating with BRICS offers a new path toward modernization and socio-economic development. Also, with the New Development Bank established by BRICS countries, this is an alternative source of financing new 21st-century economic projects that tend to cause traditional leaders to shy away and avoid.

For the Caribbean, governments will have to consider how and where to insert themselves, not just the expanding and overlapping relationships but they must also decide how to balance this new dynamic with established relationships, with Western powers. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), has immense potential to join BRICS en masse as well as deepen trade and political cooperation with China. As the Summit unfolds, it holds immense significance for the BRICS member nations and the global community.

PhD Candidate in International Politics

University of International Business and Economics(UIBE)

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  1. jaded
    August 25, 2023

    DNO, please provide the name of the author who is the PhD candidate. Thanks.

    ADMIN: Thank you for pointing that out.

    The article by-line has been updated (at the top of the article just below the headline).

  2. August 21, 2023

    Bravo BRICS….. let’s hope CELAC n/or CARICOM have some rep, within Africa, that can attend, even as a spectator
    Gotta diversify growth/development

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
    • Just Asking
      August 23, 2023

      Very good point Felix, our current situation is hacked up.
      After 400 yrs of negative growth, zero manufacturing, repeat no manufacturing, agriculture purposely not industrialized, resources flowing out to Europe in forced colonization pipelines of aircraft and large ships 🚢 to do the manufacturing in Europe. Do you see how the ifel tower glitters with lights, European cities paved from wall to wall, bloating with African wealth, while we watch our beloved African movies still in the brown Sahara dirt, all wealth taken to Europe?
      It can go to China or Brazil but we gotta move on.

  3. L C Matthew
    August 21, 2023

    Geopolitics. Certainly Russia and China no example of government of the people for the people by the people. They are already influential in the pursuit of a one party state in Dominica. They are already Influential in the autocracy sewn and growing in dominica. We are is a cold war and a war of ideology with the hybrib communism.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8
    • Matt
      August 22, 2023

      I think the pseudo-by the people for the people thing has failed us all, due to the greed and guaranteed poverty element. Anything is better.

      • L C Matthew
        August 23, 2023

        We need to stop being pawns in the game of global power struggle. Russia, China, EU, and the US are the problem the world has today. Global warming, pollution, nuclear weapons, guns, weapons of mass destruction and the list goes on. They are using this organization to get votes and support for thier agenda and to dominate global resources and control thereby thier wealth. These developing countries should realize all these countries are alligators in the swamp looking for fresh meat. They need to start turning to the power of thier own human resources. The over 1 billion people in Africa is an untapped market. South America population is untapped market. We need to stop letting these wolves make rules for the chicken coops

        • Matt
          August 24, 2023

          Europe has crippled Africa, mission accomplished, split into 54 pieces to achieve that purpose. Even the Ghetto of Europe, Belgium got a portion the others didn’t want, then went on to slaughter- maim-paralyze over 10 million African people to make rubber for the others. So they have crippled and paralyzed the Continent. Recovery on their own is as good as impossible. They need friends and well wishers to accomplished this, not punishers, they need to move away from Europeans, Euro-jews and European-Americans in order to accomplish anything positive.

  4. Ibo France
    August 21, 2023

    There is a need to break the monopoly the US has on the international financial systems. No country should have that sort of financial power globally.

    Having said that, some of the autocratic regimes that are members of BRICS give me the jitters. Some of the members and prospective members massacre people at will with impunity. For example, Saudi Arabia is vying to become an integral member of this organisation. It has now being revealed that this totalitarian country has recently slaughtered six hundred and fifty (650) African migrants at their border.

  5. Gone Are The Days
    August 21, 2023

    This is a start. Someone, something has to come together to counter the influence and continued damaging of that continent and the world by Europeans and European-Americans. It’s imperative and importation. We must join in.
    I’m quite sure it can get worse before it gets better, brave up, but a stand MUST be taken for betterment of the world. Europe, EU, US have continued to drain, fail the world with poverty and stolen wealth, and feudalism disguised as democracy for 500yrs, no more of that stupidity.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  6. August 21, 2023

    these politicians in the Caribbean talking about BRICS are not genuine, they just think it’s better way to hide all the funds they stole in their countries. An Antigua senior politician died leaving over $900 million usd in Switzerland banks the family can’t claim up to now just as the late dominica former prime minister . They are not in the revolution against the usd domination,they are into looting.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4
    • me
      August 21, 2023

      That’s not what BRICS is about. Go educate yourself and come again OR read what MEME has written.
      Politicians who want to hide money are afraid of BRICS!

    • ???
      August 21, 2023

      Go read about BRICS. You are uninformed, and your comment is testiminy to this fact.

  7. MEME
    August 20, 2023

    Hope that a few Caribbean leaders attend the BRICS summit in South Africa or at least send representatives…Powerful block of countries with respect to trade and development. I did not see it in the article, but DE-DOLLARISATION must be an agenda item i.e to gradually replace the $US, or the PETRO DOLLAR as the main trading currency amongst BRICS nations…
    Trading with the $US dollar, is the MAIN reason why America dominates the world, that’s why it can unilaterally freeze the currencies of countries that it does not like. China and Brazil just last year (2022 ), DUMPED the $US in bilateral trade. As BRICS countries continue to do so, the American economy will slowly get weaker and weaker. It won’t happen overnight, but the great AMERICA, (the #1 war mongering country of the world), has something coming, and its unstoppable. The world needs PEACE not WARS!!
    Break the back of America’s dominance of the world.. It’s used only to wage wars, and to destroy lives and…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2
    • Brain Damage
      August 22, 2023

      MEME, don’t be surprised that you are in America writing this scrap.
      Majority Chinese, Russians, Dominicans… name them.. wants to to leave their country to flee to one country in mind, and that is The United States of America…

      Something is wrong with their Government.
      Brick has it’s agender, the American and European have theirs….

      • MEME
        August 22, 2023

        @Brain Damage
        Your name so aptly suits you…Brain Damage..Is it because of drugs your brain got damaged? I know the Starboy of Stupidity gave you small portions to smoke…You seem to be on an overdoze mission!

        • Gone Are The Days
          August 22, 2023

          @MEME, you wrote so eloquently, likely researched. BD simply spoke their mind, we’re in this together I still think you should av taken high ground.

          • MEME
            August 22, 2023

            @Gone Are The Days
            Not researched. Have been listening to numerous podcasts on U-Tube over a long period.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
          • Gone Are The Days
            August 23, 2023

            @Meme, that’s good web research too, way to go. It seems you are above state sponsored Western propaganda, they always try to control the narrative. 😏

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
      • Matt
        August 24, 2023

        @Brain Damage: “Something is wrong with their Government.”
        That’s all the reason to start building something new. It’s on!

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