BRICS Emerging as Alternative Model to G7
BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) have emerged as an economic group of emerging countries and have slowly become an alternative model to the G7. The founding myth of the emerging economies has faded, and the BRICS countries are currently living their geopolitical moment, trying to position themselves as mouthpieces for the global South, “as a counter-model to the G7.” In 2014, the BRICS countries founded the “New Development Bank” (NDB) with an initial capital of US$50 billion as an alternative to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Competition for the World Bank
The BRICS countries’ NDB bank has already been opened to new members such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and Bangladesh, although well below the initial ten billion dollars in deposits of each of the founding members. The BRICS countries are willing to talk about an expansion of the group, but the admission criteria must be agreed in advance. The issue will be on the agenda of the next summit, to be held in South Africa in August.
Growing Emerging Countries
The economic development of the BRICS has little to do with the origin of the growing emerging countries since, of the five member states, only China shows continuous and expansive growth. While China tripled its gross domestic product from US$6 trillion to nearly US$18 trillion between 2010 and 2021, the economies of Brazil, South Africa, and Russia stagnated over the same period. And India managed to almost double its economic output from 1.7 to 3.1 trillion US dollars.
No sanctions against Russia
With the war in Ukraine, the distance between the BRICS countries and the West has increased because neither India nor Brazil nor South Africa nor China participate in the sanctions against Moscow. The alliance is not an anti-Western constellation, but it serves to achieve national interests while not depending solely on the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund when in a financial crisis.
China’s Global Political Ambitions
China, according to Maihold, uses the BRICS platform for its global political ambitions. Thus, the offers of mediation in the Ukrainian war coincided with the joint military exercises of Russia and China in South Africa. In the West, the change in strategy has been recognized and is trying to counter it by inviting South Africa and India to avoid a confrontational prospect of the G7 versus the BRICS in world politics.
In conclusion, the BRICS emerging as an alternative model to the G7 and a platform for intergovernmental cooperation. Although the admission criteria for new members must be agreed upon in advance, many countries have shown interest in joining the group. China uses the BRICS platform to pursue its global political ambitions while the alliance serves to achieve national interests and not solely depend on the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund when in a financial crisis.