This article was last updated on November 1, 2022
Saudi Arabia, BRICS and the Growing Influence of the Global South
With the recent decision by OPEC+ to reduce oil production by 2 million barrels of oil per day and Washington’s backlash to the cuts, recent developments are of particular interest, particularly in light of the world’s changing geopolitical landscape.
Here is recent news on Saudi Arabia as reported by TASS:
Here is further coverage on Saudi Arabia’s interest in joining BRICS from China’s Global Times:
Here is a quote from the Global Times news item with my bolds:
“A senior US official said on Sunday that US President Joe Biden has “no plans” to meet with the Saudi Crown Prince at next month’s G20 summit in Indonesia, Aljazeera reported.
Meanwhile, Saudi officials have made it clear that they would not take orders from the US. The CEO of the Future Investment Initiative, the organizer of the “Davos of the Desert” Saudi investment conference, said on Monday that US government officials will not be invited to attend the event at the end of this month, according to media reports.
The US wanted Saudi Arabia to listen to its orders and meet its demands, but the fact proved that Washington has overplayed its hand, a Beijing-based international relations expert told the Global Times on Wednesday, requesting anonymity.
The US is completely utilitarian in its relations with Saudi Arabia, the expert said, adding that “the idea of joining BRICS shows Saudi Arabia’s growing autonomy in its diplomacy with Washington.
It was not a difficult choice for the Saudis to make, given the US’ domestic turmoil and the instability of the country’s policies, the expert said, noting that “joining BRICS will also protect Saudi Arabia’s own energy interests in a substantive way, rather than being a card to be used by others.“
According to TASS, the BRICS group which currently consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, BRICS member states have been approached by a number of countries which are interested in joining the group. IN fact, at the BRICS+ meeting held in June 2022, the following participants were in attendance, showing how the group is attracting a wide range of potential members:
President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, Vice President of Brazil Hamilton Mourao, President of Algeria Abdelmadjid Tebboune, President of Argentina Alberto Fernandez, President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, President of Iran Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Malaysia Ismail Sabri Yaakob, President of Senegal Macky Sall, Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Prime Minister of Fiji Voreqe Bainimarama, and Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed.
As background, the emerging economies of the BRICS nations are significant to the world’s economy as follows:
1.) 40 percent of the global population
2.) 25 percent of the global economy worth USD 16.039 trillion
3.) 30 percent of the world’s land mass
4.) 18 percent of world trade
BRICS nations are also exploring the possibility of creating an international reserve currency based on the basket of BRICS currencies with the ultimate goal of reducing the United States ability to use its dollar as a weapon as reported here:
In addition, BRICS member nations are also increasing the use of local currencies in mutual trade among its members.
As further background regarding the growing influence of the BRICS partnership, here is a quote from a press release from the June 2022 XIV BRICS Summit held in China, again with my bolds:
“The world’s economic center of gravity has been shifting from the North to the developing South, said the Global Development Report issued Monday by the Center for International Knowledge on Development.
The gross domestic product share of emerging markets and developing countries in the global economy evaluated by purchasing power parity increased from roughly the same as that of advanced economies during the financial crisis to nearly 60 percent in 2020, the report said.
The global governance system is being rapidly reshaped, with developing countries making more of their voices heard. Meanwhile, more global governance platforms are emerging. The G20, BRICS, and a variety of regional and sub-regional cooperation bodies are playing an increasingly important role, according to the report.
Once Saudi Arabia joins BRICS, it will send a message to other nations in the Middle East that it is advantageous to strengthen diplomatic and economic ties with BRICS nations with the goal of weakening American hegemony in the region and on a wider global scale.
There is no doubt that the world is undergoing a geopolitical sea change whether Washington likes it or not.