BRICS On January 1, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) entered a transformative chapter in its quest for multilateral economic partnerships by officially becoming a member of the BRICS alliance. This strategic move, alongside Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, and Ethiopia, is poised to open up new avenues for the UAE in global markets.
BRICS Expansion: Economic Strength Doubles
The UAE’s inclusion in BRICS comes after formal ratification by the alliance’s founding nations—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—during the 15th BRICS summit in Johannesburg in August. This expansion has significantly increased the economic prowess of the alliance, boasting a combined GDP of $28.5 trillion, equivalent to 28 percent of the global economy.
Demographic and Energy Impact
With a collective population of approximately 3.5 billion people, constituting 45 percent of the world’s population, and accounting for 44 percent of the world’s crude oil production, BRICS has become a formidable force. The UAE’s entry into this alliance positions it strategically on the global stage.
UAE’s Commitment to Multilateralism
For the UAE, joining BRICS underscores its commitment to championing multilateralism and engaging proactively with emerging economies. Analysts believe this membership will enhance the UAE’s international partnership portfolio, support major development plans, and strengthen its economic model.
Navigating Global Economic Dynamics
As discussions around a potential BRICS currency to replace the US dollar unfold, economists foresee the UAE diversifying its strategic options, forging new partnerships, and expanding its investment and trade portfolios. This move positions the UAE to actively engage with emerging economies, fostering mutual growth and cooperation.
Beyond BRICS: Global Forums and Sustainability Commitments
In addition to BRICS involvement, the UAE remains committed to participating in global forums, including the G20 process and hosting the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) climate conference in November. This proactive engagement reflects the UAE’s belief in the significance of strong multilateral partnerships for global security, prosperity, and sustainable development.
Culmination of Ongoing Partnership
The UAE’s entry into BRICS marks the culmination of an ongoing partnership, evident in its earlier participation in the group’s New Development Bank in October 2021 and active involvement in the Friends of the BRICS forum in Cape Town in June 2023 under South Africa’s presidency.