xi's moments
Home | Americas

BRICS ties eyed as multipolar trend emerges

Diversification of partnerships sought as Nicaragua, Bolivia look to join group

By JIMENA ESTEBAN in Buenos Aires | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-06-19 09:28

The significant interest of Bolivia and Nicaragua joining the BRICS group highlights the growing economic ties with the group's members, in particular with China, while reducing their dependency on Western economies, say experts.

Key officials from the Latin American countries announced their intentions during a two-day BRICS gathering in Russia earlier this month.

It is seen as a strategic move to enhance their economic prospects through collaboration with BRICS that includes original members — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — plus new entries that include Egypt, Iran and Ethiopia.

"The involvement of countries like Bolivia and Nicaragua in BRICS has the potential to rebalance economic influences and create a more multipolar global economy," said Gabriel Merino, a researcher at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina and professor at the National University of La Plata.

Laureano Ortega Murillo, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's representative in Russia, said the country is negotiating to become a member, a move aligned with a broader strategy to diversify its economic relationships and reduce dependency on Western powers.

"Nicaragua sees immense potential in aligning with BRICS. The partnership could open doors to new economic opportunities and foster a more balanced global economic landscape," Murillo said.

Bolivian President Luis Arce, during a speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in May, reiterated his country's commitment to joining BRICS, which he called "pivotal for Bolivia's economic future".

"It will bolster our industrialization efforts and promote sustainable development through strategic partnerships," said Arce.

"The economic collaboration within BRICS has the potential to accelerate our national development agenda, creating more robust and mutually beneficial economic ties."

Countries like Bolivia and Nicaragua want to join BRICS for three main reasons, said Merino. First, the economic growth led by countries like China and India. Second, the opportunity to diversify their economic partnerships. And third, to reduce dependency on traditional Western economies.

"For nations in Latin America, aligning with BRICS could signify a pivotal shift in economic strategy, facilitating greater resilience and autonomy in the global market," Merino said.

Closer links

The bids by Bolivia and Nicaragua reflect a broader trend in Latin America to diversify economic alliances and strengthen ties with major global developing economies like China.

Bolivia and China have grown increasingly close, with Beijing providing growing financial support as well as currency and infrastructure development.

"The Bolivian economy has shown concerning signs and symptoms of a potential economic crisis in the medium term," said Daniel Flores Escobar, associate investigator in economic and international relations at the Centre for Political Science Studies at Bolivia's Gabriel Rene Moreno Autonomous University. "The first quarter of 2024 began with a significant reduction in revenues from the export of hydrocarbons, metals, and food."

But he added that Bolivia has great advantages due to its natural resources and can use this association to generate an industrial and diversified economy that guarantees the supply of critical resources to countries like China.

"Joining BRICS could be beneficial, but it would also require preparation and consideration of the internal economic challenges the country faces," Escobar said.

Nicaragua's engagement reflects a complementary yet distinct aspiration. "Our economic future depends on establishing new international relationships that reflect our national interests and goals," Murillo said.

The writer is a freelance journalist for China Daily.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349