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BRICS- A New Horizon for Bangladesh

BRICS- A New Horizon for Bangladesh
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The Russian Federation’s initiative to form BRICS in 2006 was one of the most significant geopolitical developments. However, in recent times Chinese President Xi Jinping has been playing a key role in expanding this block. His interest and inclusive policy make this bloc more powerful as well as a key player in the global arena. Major world powers like China and Russia, as well as nations that are powerful on their continent like Brazil and South Africa, are also members of the BRICS.

The oil-rich countries of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates have joined the group, bringing the total number of its members to ten. With a combined population of roughly 3.5 billion, the expanded group makes up 45% of the global population. Its combined economy is valued at over $28.5 trillion, or roughly 28% of the world’s GDP. BRICS surpass G7 in terms of purchasing power parity. Additionally, 44% of the world’s crude oil production comes from BRICS nations, which also cover 30% of the world’s land surface.

The burgeoning discussions among Western academics as well as in the Western media in recent times show the importance of the bloc. BRICS is a platform from where the Global South can raise its voice and maximize its interest. BRICS can serve as an alternative to traditional Western-led global order.

BRICS was founded on the common goal of restructuring the world’s political, economic, and financial system to make the system representative, equitable, and balanced. BRICS aspires to ensure the system is based on the vital pillars of international laws and multilateralism. At least 15 states applied to join the block, and more than 40 countries expressed their interest in this regard.

Like many other nations, the government of Bangladesh has expressed interest in joining the association of significant emerging economies. Bangladesh formally requested for membership in the BRICS in June 2023. BRICS is an ideal platform for multi-lateral engagement for Bangladesh. It can assist Bangladesh in lessening its reliance on the West and diversifying its export markets. Bangladesh can attract more investment from the BRICS countries by joining this bloc. Additionally, it will lessen Bangladesh’s over-reliance on US dollars and help it diversify its foreign policy.

The New Development Bank was founded by BRICS in 2015 to support both its member countries and other nations. Bangladesh, which owns 1.79% of the bank, was the first nation to join it after its founding members. The bank provides loans in multiple currencies, including the US dollar, euro, Chinese yuan, and other local currencies. This facility can be extremely beneficial for Bangladesh, especially as the country is struggling with its dollar reserves.

BRICS countries already account for a significant share of Bangladesh’s trade. BRICS nation China is the biggest trading partner of Bangladesh. China is also providing zero-tariff facilities for 97% of Bangladeshi products. A total of 8256 Bangladeshi products are enjoying this exemption facility which is provided by China to Bangladesh. China is also the top import partner of Bangladesh. Dhaka also received approximately US$ 26 billion Chinese investment from 2016 to 2022. Moreover, China is helping Bangladesh to supersede Western pressures. For instance, China helped Bangladesh in constructing the Padma Multipurpose Bridge over the Padma River when the World Bank and JICA pulled out from this project in 2013, alleging corruption in this project. Though later this claim was dismissed by a Canadian court in 2017.

Dhaka also maintains strong military ties with Beijing. Bangladesh brought two refurbished Type 035G diesel-electric submarines from China despite criticism from a neighboring country. A Chinese state-owned defense company is building a new submarine support facility on the country’s southeastern coast. According to a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Bangladesh was the second largest importer of Chinese weapons from 2016 to 2020 and during this period Bangladesh procured 17% of all Chinese defense exports.

Already a strong friendly relationship exists between these two countries and it is predicted that this relationship will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. By joining BRICS, Bangladesh can come under the same umbrella which is also shared by China. Joining BRICS is going to help Bangladesh strengthen its relationship with other global players to some extent.
Being a part of BRICS is beneficial to the reputation of Bangladesh as well as global recognition. It is probably going to give the nation more clout and influence internationally.

The writer graduated in International Relations and Security Studies at the University of Bradford, United Kingdom.

Mzaad
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Daily Dazzling Dawn is the first and only international and non-profitable newspaper, which is 100% ownership of professional journalists from Bangladeshi origin with 20 years of experience in global journalism. The main aim of the newspaper is promoting ethical journalism with truth, accuracy and proficiency.

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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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