Why does UAE join BRICS



Why does UAE join BRICS

It became a full member of association on 1 January 2024

In a move that has captured the attention of the global stage, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has strategically positioned itself as the newest member of the BRICS bloc, marking a significant milestone in international diplomacy and economic collaboration. This pivotal decision not only enhances the UAE’s influence on the world’s economic and political arenas but also signals a new era of opportunities and challenges in global trade, international relations, and economic partnerships.

The role of the UAE in shaping the future of BRICS

As the UAE integrates into the BRICS consortium, its strategic position and robust economic framework are poised to inject a new dynamism into the group. Experts argue that the UAE’s innovative approach to technology and sustainable development stands as a cornerstone for BRICS, potentially steering the bloc towards more sustainable and tech-driven economic policies. The country’s vast experience in renewable energy, particularly solar power, alongside its significant advancements in digital economy sectors, such as fintech and smart cities, could offer valuable insights and models for BRICS nations aiming to diversify their economies.

Moreover, the UAE’s well-established global trade networks and its status as a financial hub could significantly enhance the economic cohesion within BRICS, fostering stronger trade ties and facilitating investment flows among member countries. The emphasis on multilateralism and South-South cooperation by the UAE aligns with the core objectives of BRICS, potentially leading to a more integrated and cooperative stance on global issues.

Researcher of the Centre for International Institutions Research Andrey Shelepov in an exclusive commentary to TV BRICS noted that the accession of the UAE to BRICS in turn opens up new prospects for other BRICS countries and the global economy as a whole. The new composition of association covers almost all regions of the world, offering new economic, trade and investment opportunities for participating countries and partner states. According to UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, the accession of new countries enhances BRICS’ contribution to the stability and sustainable growth of the world economy, the expansion of international trade and investment, and the flexibility of global supply chains.

BRICS countries can benefit from the UAE’s strategic location as a transit state. Foreign trade participants are attracted by the UAE’s developed seaport logistics, airport network and the railway network that has been developing in recent years. An important aspect may also be the simplification of the transition to settlements in local national currencies in international trade and the formation of new payment systems against the backdrop of the BRICS expansion.

It is learnt that the UAE has already launched a local currency settlement mechanism for crude oil transactions with India. The expansion of such an approach to other BRICS partner countries is quite realistic (in particular, given that after the enlargement the share of the BRICS in global oil production increased from less than 20% to 40%).

Political and economic repercussions of the UAE Joining BRICS

The inclusion of the UAE into the BRICS consortium marks a significant shift in global economic and political dynamics. This strategic alliance not only diversifies the economic capabilities and geopolitical influence of the BRICS nations but also amplifies the UAE’s role on the world stage. The expansion of BRICS underscores a growing trend towards multipolarity in international relations, challenging the traditional dominance of Western economic models and alliances. Economically, the UAE stands to gain from enhanced trade relations, increased foreign investment, and greater access to emerging markets within the BRICS framework. Politically, this move signifies the UAE’s ambition to play a more prominent role in global governance, leveraging its strategic location and economic power to mediate between the West and the Global South. The table below illustrates the pre- and post-BRICS membership economic indicators for the UAE, highlighting the potential for growth and increased influence within this new geopolitical landscape.

Andrey Shelepov added that the UAE is interested in joining BRICS for both economic and geopolitical reasons. Against the backdrop of the growing role of the association and its increasing positive perception, especially among the countries of the Global South, the UAE’s membership will strengthen the UAE’s position as a reliable trade and economic partner and contribute to the growth of relevant indicators, especially foreign trade volumes. The UAE is an important trade and energy partner for most BRICS countries, especially China and India. The country is also seeking to realise new investment opportunities in developing countries, especially in Africa. This can be achieved, among other things, through participation in the “enlarged” BRICS, where, in addition to South Africa, such countries of the continent as Egypt and Ethiopia are already represented.

What the UAE’s BRICS Membership Means for International Relations

Delving into the geopolitical implications, the United Arab Emirates’ accession to BRICS represents a pivotal shift in global alliances and economic strategies. By aligning with BRICS, a coalition of emerging economies, the UAE not only amplifies its voice on the global stage but also positions itself as a crucial mediator between the West and the Global South. This strategic move could redefine power dynamics, fostering a more multipolar world order where emerging economies wield greater influence.

For BRICS members, incorporating the UAE – a country with substantial financial clout and a strategic geographic location – enhances their collective bargaining power in international forums. For the UAE, this affiliation opens up new avenues for trade, investment, and technological collaboration, further bolstering its status as a global hub for commerce and innovation.

The implications of this partnership extend beyond mere economic transactions; they are likely to influence geopolitical strategies, energy cooperation, and cultural exchanges, thereby reshaping international relations.





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