Is BRICS Re-Defining World Order?
Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

On March 27th, an article written by Astrid Prange on the Deutsche Welle (Germany) argues that BRICS is gradually shaping a new world order, replacing the Western-led order emerging after the Cold War. Will this be the case in reality?
1/ A long-lasting goal to provide an alternative
Since established, BRICS has been considered a mechanism for its developing members to enhance their role in the context of the Western-dominated global institutions and to reinforce multilateral order. BRICS once pushed the US to compromise with India on nuclear cooperation. The bloc also set up the New Development Bank (NDB) to compete with the World Bank, established the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) to compete with the IMF, as well as planned to build a submarine cable system (BRICS Cable) to connect BRICS’s members to avoid being spied by the US.
Institution wise, BRICS organized the first ministerial-level meeting in 2006 and the first summit in 2009. There are also dialogue mechanisms among national security advisors, foreign ministers, finance ministers or central bank governors. In term of membership, many countries such as Argentina, Iran, Turkey, and Egypt have considered joining BRICS. BRICS also has a dialogue mechanism between its members and other emerging markets and developing countries,  which is based on the “BRICS Plus” model proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2017.
2/ Heightened efforts in 2022 – 2023:
On political front, BRICS members’ stances on Russia - Ukraine conflict have been completely different from those of “the West”. They have also opted out from joint-sanctions against Russia. China has even expressed its desire to play a role in the conflict resolution process. Moreover, India has increasingly been emphasizing its “strategic autonomy” while China is promoting its own series of security-political initiatives such as the Global Security Initiative.
On economical front, BRICS has made efforts to reduce their dependency on the US dollar, for example, the recent record-breaking deal between Brazil and China or the reported “common currency” goal for BRICS countries. Saudi Arabia, UAE and France are all countries whose companies have aggreed to faciliate energy transaction in Chinese currency. Additionally, BRICS development bank has admitted new members such as the UAE or Bangladesh. Other BRICS institutions have taken on “public good provider” role, such as the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Center during the Covid-19 pandemic.
3/ Limits to an imminent change:
Creating a complete alternative to the West-led order is a long way to go still, as BRICS face internal and external limits. Excluding China and India, BRICS’s economic growth is lower than the initial expectation when it was first founded. The economies of Brazil, South Africa, and Russia all went into a state of stagnation.
BRICS has not yet established effective mechanisms to provide developmental goods. Shares of non-BRICS countries in the NDB are still quite modest. The bank has only managed to fund projects in five BRICs members, according to its website. The “common currency” goal is still considered far-fetched.
BRICS’s members still have conflicts among themselves, or even territorial disputes. At the same time, Western powers might as well be looking for creative measures to confine BRICS influence. For example, South Africa and India were invited to the 2022 G7 Summit, possibly as a way to make BRICS more aligned with G7. The US and its allies have also intensified economic, developmental and security competition with China while pulling India into further in-depth cooperation.
The post was originally published here
Translated by Nguyen Tien Dat
Revised by HD, Viet Ha