Argentina is increasingly close to joining the BRICS group of nations, with entry into its new development bank all but sealed following President Alberto Fernández’s Sino-Russian tour in early February, the Argentine confirmed on Thursday. Ambassador to Beijing Sabino Vaca Narvaja.
Speaking at a BRICS videoconference summit, the envoy read a letter from President Fernández saying the group represents “an excellent alternative for cooperation in the face of a world order that works for the benefit of the few”.
Government sources are confident that its entry into what was once known as the BRICS Development Bank could even materialize in the coming months. Brazil’s support, they said, was crucial in speeding up the process, with China and India also in support. The positions of Russia and South Africa – the other members of the bloc – are unknown.
The sources consulted assured that Argentina will join the political bloc next year.
Such a move is sure to raise eyebrows in Washington, with US President Joe Biden’s administration strongly opposed to any rapprochement with Russia following the decision to invade Ukraine.
The BRICS seek to expand their cooperation with other countries and are even considering joining. Led by China, due to its great economic power, the bloc seeks to open up to the international scene, not only on economic issues but also in the global context generated by the war in Ukraine, with Russia playing a very important in global diplomacy.
The BRICS were established in 2009 as a forum for economic and trade cooperation among the major emerging economies of the world at the time to resist international financial and trade organizations led by Western countries, especially the United States.
The president said in his letter that “the BRICS are undoubtedly a decisive grouping for global economic development. It is clear that global macroeconomic stability and economic growth pass and will pass more and more through this group of countries.”
He concluded: “The new BRICS development bank in which my country could participate is for me the institutionalization of a new world order centered on development and away from the financial speculation that has caused so much damage to our countries.
On Wednesday, Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero confirmed the country’s ambitions, saying it “has the will” to join the bloc “with an emerging agenda”.
“The BRICS represent 40% of the world’s population and 20% of the world’s GDP. Argentina has the opportunity to participate with an emerging agenda. This is the task we set ourselves last year and the president has discussed with Xi Jinping,” Cafiero told El Destape radio.
“For Argentina, it is important to move towards greater coordination with the BRICS countries,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The minister revealed that the government had been working on the target since last year and argued that the BRICS group would benefit from “the incorporation of a Spanish-speaking country”.
Diplomatic sources told the state news agency Telam on Thursday that the accession process is “long”, but that the government has received unofficial commitments from Brazil, China and India.
Back in April, Brazilian Foreign Minister Paulo Guedes said President Jair Bolsonaro’s government was ready to promote Argentina’s candidacy for both the BRICS as a whole and the NDB development bank.
China aims for expansion
Speaking on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the bloc should inject new vitality into the organization’s cooperation in the face of new challenges in the international situation.
The comments came amid Chinese President Xi Jinping’s sending of a special invitation to Argentina to attend the BRICS summit, which kicked off yesterday and will run until June 24.
“Solidarity and cooperation with emerging and developing countries is an excellent tradition of BRICS countries, and it is also an inevitable path for the development and growth of the bloc mechanism,” said the Chinese minister, who said that the block was to “demonstrate even more openness and inclusion.
Beijing “proposes to launch the BRICS enlargement process, discuss the norms and procedures of this enlargement and gradually form a consensus,” the minister said.
In this sense, Cafiero met his colleagues saying: “The successive presidencies of the G20 of three emerging powers, Indonesia (2022), India (2023) and Brazil (2024), present us with an immediate opportunity to push a new direction and to bring the world’s attention to the needs of developing countries”.
Cafiero recently met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, receiving his support for Argentina’s BRICS membership.
“For Argentina, it is important to move towards greater coordination with the BRICS. That is why we appreciate this invitation and we put ourselves at their disposal to continue building bridges between Argentina and the BRICS” , he pointed out.
The Minister underlined that “it is only through greater coordination of developing countries in forums such as the G20, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that we can consolidate an agenda where emerging economies must be the engine of an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery.