The UAE has entered a new phase in its multilateral economic collaboration by officially joining the Brics alliance, along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, and Ethiopia, effective January 1. This move allows the UAE to expand its presence in global markets significantly.
The UAE’s inclusion in the alliance, following the ratification of its membership by the founding nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) at the 15th Brics summit in Johannesburg in August, has doubled the alliance’s size. Together, the ten member countries now constitute a formidable economic force, representing a combined GDP of $28.5 trillion, equivalent to about 28% of the global economy. The alliance also boasts a collective population of approximately 3.5 billion, constituting 45% of the world’s population, and is anticipated to produce about 44% of the world’s crude oil.
For the second-largest economy in the Arab World, joining Brics reflects the UAE’s commitment to promoting multilateralism. Analysts believe that this membership will enhance the nation’s outreach, flexibility in international partnerships, implementation of major development plans, and empowerment of its economic model.
According to Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, “This development forms part of the UAE’s commitment to promoting constructive dialogue through active platforms that represent developing and emerging economies. The UAE has consistently championed the value of multilateralism in supporting peace, security, and development globally.”
Entering this influential group coincides with discussions about a BRICS currency potentially replacing the US dollar as a global reserve currency. Economists argue that the alliance will enable the UAE to diversify its strategic options, explore alternatives, form partnerships, and broaden its investment and trade portfolios, fostering dynamic engagement with emerging economies for mutual growth and cooperation.
“The UAE believes in championing multilateralism and actively contributing to important international arenas. This includes, apart from engaging with BRICS, participating regularly in the G20 process and hosting the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) climate conference in November,” emphasizing the UAE’s commitment to global security, prosperity, and shared stability and development.
The UAE’s entry into Brics marks the culmination of an ongoing partnership, with the country having joined the group’s New Development Bank in October 2021. In June 2023, the UAE actively participated in the Friends of the Brics forum in Cape Town, presided over by South Africa during its BRICS presidency.
Publish 2 Jan 2024
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