The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, announced that his country will join the BRICS bloc, the economic, political and social alliance formed up to now by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Fernández asserted that this integration represents a possibility for the country to “open new markets, to consolidate existing ones, to favor investment flows, creating employment, to increase exports and to develop the application of new and better technologies.”
Argentina’s entry into the bloc is scheduled for January 1, 2024 along with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
Argentina is admitted among the six new members of the BRICS, announced the president of South Africa
The five countries that up to now make up the block represent more than 42% of the global population, 30% of the world territory, 23% of GDP and 18% of world trade, according to official information from the Argentine Foreign Ministry. According to the same source, the countries involved together contribute 16% of exports and 15% of world imports of goods and services.
Added to these data, the international analyst and university professor Eduardo Martínez told CNN that the incorporation of Argentina to the BRICS “is important because with the countries that are added, the bloc will represent 31.5% of world GDP, when the G7 or The Group of Seven – the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada – has two less points”.
In the same sense, the lawyer and international analyst Juan Venturino considered that “Argentina’s membership in an alliance significantly improves its negotiation conditions vis-à-vis the world, in addition to reducing the tariffs of inter-bloc participants.” Martínez added: “The advantages are customs and tariffs. There is an impressive market that opens with integration. We are already trading with China, but once Argentina enters the bloc, the tariff for these exchanges will be significantly better.”
The countries that make up the BRICS are members of the New Development Bank (NBD), an entity created in 2015 and currently chaired by Dilma Rousseff. On its official website, it is defined as a multilateral space “with the purpose of mobilizing resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging markets and developing countries.”
In this way, Argentina’s entry into the bloc would open up the possibility of accessing credits provided by the New Development Bank, as expressed by the analyst Martínez: “This contingency fund for developing countries wants to supplant the IMF to give loans more light and, if Argentina is there, it would help the country with the debt it has with the Fund”.
Fernández highlighted that “four Argentine provinces have Brazil as their main trading partner and destination for their exports, and for another eight provinces their main destination is China.” On the other hand, India is an important buyer of Argentine corn, along with Brazil, the main importer of domestically manufactured wheat and barley, according to data provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship.
A screen shows the president of Argentina delivering a speech at a meeting during the 2023 BRICS Summit at the Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg on August 24, 2023. (Photo by KIM LUDBROOK/POOL/AFP via Fake Images)
The Argentine Foreign Ministry also reported that the current five members of the BRICS group represent for Argentina up to 30% of the destination of national exports. In this regard, President Fernández stressed the importance of strengthening these new business opportunities: “The BRICS play a determining role in the demand to design a global financial architecture that takes into account the needs of growth, trade, investment, and social welfare.” .
BRICS, Argentina and a context of uncertainty
Marcelo Elizondo, an international analyst and consultant, told CNN Radio Argentina that the integration into the bloc occurs in a context of uncertainty: “It was one thing to enter two years ago and another now. Russia is one of the founding countries, there is China that is not seen with such reliability and a group of other countries that have observations.
In the same sense, the Argentine economist Manuel Adorni told CNN that “this integration is not aligned with current events if countries like China are taken into account, which is the great communist power, after Russia, which is invading today Ukraine with a momentum that the world is condemning.”
As far as the business sector is concerned, opinions are mixed. Natalio Mario Grinman, president of the Argentine Chamber of Commerce (CAC), was forceful in the speech he gave at the Council of the Americas: “We must strengthen our belonging to the Western world