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BRICS is challenging hegemony of the West

By XING YI | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-08-30 09:37

An Indian expert on BRICS affairs, Sameep Shastri, has emphasized that the organization's recent expansion demonstrates its inclusivity and multilateralism, challenges Western hegemony, and will bring new markets and resources to aid sustainable development and foster cooperation in the Global South.

After last week's 15th BRICS Summit concluded with the addition of six new members, Shastri, vice-chairman of the BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the step would further strengthen the faith in the multipolar world order, and the new member will infuse BRICS cooperation with momentum and energy.

The chamber is a non-governmental organization based in New Delhi, India, that supports business and entrepreneurs in BRICS nations.

"I believe the Western Hemisphere has dominated our economic needs for too long, and I think it's time that BRICS becomes the face of the Global South to show that the Eastern Hemisphere also has strength," Shastri said.

The BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — represented 42 percent of the world's population and 23 percent of global GDP. It was announced on Thursday that Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE have become new members.

"Now it represents half of the world… The new members would bring market, resource, industry to the table, allowing diversification of trade relationships and potentially leading the creation of new supply chains," said Shastri, adding that the economic complementarity among the member countries will increase trade and investment opportunities.

"That might include joint ventures and renewable energy projects, oil and gas explorations, and energy in infrastructure development," he said. "Middle Eastern countries don't have that strong service industry, whereas China and India are very good with it. So we'll be complementing where our needs are."

The entry of new members will also open opportunities for tourism and cultural exchange.

"We share geographically very different boundaries, but culturally we all are very rich… Tourism will become more popular. Hospitality leads to the travel business.…I think if you look at it, our options are unlimited," he said.

Shastri pointed out that the new members will lead to collaborative efforts in funding in the New Development Bank, which has aimed to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects since 2015.

A strengthened BRICS group will break Western economic hegemony, which has dominated the world's economic policies, said Shastri. "I personally feel the monopolistic nature should change. It should be a fair play …and it is time that we lead these policies and because it is our population that needs the right kind of policy making in growth."

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