What Would BRICS Expansion Mean for Latin America?
Bolivian President Luis Arce will attend the BRICS Summit in South Africa, which will take place from Aug. 22-24, in a bid to secure partnerships and more investment, the country’s foreign minister said on July 31. What does Arce’s presence at the summit mean for the group, and what will be the key topics of discussion? How important is the BRICS bloc to Latin America? How likely is it to expand and grant membership to more countries in the region?
Tara Hariharan, managing director of global macro research at NWI Management LP: “Arce courts Bolivia’s inclusion in the BRICS bloc to strengthen economic partnerships and develop Bolivia’s large lithium reserves (in which China and Russia already invest). He also seeks the decreased use of the U.S. dollar in the Bolivian economy in an increasingly multipolar world. Appropriately, the summit will focus on membership expansion. Bolivia aside, Argentina, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico and Venezuela all have shown interest in joining the BRICS, seeking closer trade ties with China and infrastructure funding from BRICS’ New Development Bank (NDB). However, existing BRICS members disagree on the pace and extent of enlargement. China and Russia endorse rapid expansion to challenge the U.S.-led economic order. South Africa supports expansion while staying neutral vis-à-vis the West. But Brazil and India are less keen on increasing membership. Brazil fears dilution of its influence in a larger pool; India is wary of…”Read More
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