Egypt’s accession to BRICS: Opportunities to the African and developing countries


Recently, Egypt joined the BRICS, here, we can find many upcoming next steps for China and Egypt to focus on in terms of cooperation. Egypt’s accession to BRICS with China brings many opportunities and advantages, especially in terms of development, trade and investment. As one of the most important economic clusters in the world, this is an opportunity for Cairo to increase the rates of trade exchange and joint investments. Because one of the initiatives that BRICS is currently participating in is converting trade into alternative currencies as much as possible, whether national or creating a common currency, and Egypt is very interested in this matter.  In addition to the importance of being in a bloc that includes China as a major power, it protects the political and economic interests of the Egyptian state and adds more cooperation and exchange of experiences. Especially with taking advantage of the BRICS trend to deal in local currencies or currencies other than the US dollar, this is a part that Cairo needs in view of the foreign exchange problem, and thus diversifying the basket of foreign currencies.

 Joining BRICS will also reduce the dollar’s ​​dominance in payments, a point that was discussed in previous BRICS summits.  Especially with the increase in controversy after the rise in US interest rates and the Russian-Ukrainian war, which led to a rise in the US currency, along with the cost of goods priced in dollars, through the increased use of members’ national currencies in trade and the establishment of a common payment system. The goal of creating a common currency is seen as a long-term project.

 The BRICS group succeeded, thanks to China’s efforts, in establishing global economic rules that balance Western institutions.  Since the founding of the BRICS group, its member states, especially Russia and China, have been seeking to develop a new economic model that would end unipolar hegemony and open the door to a new multipolar economic strategy. This is why China supported Egypt’s new membership as part of the process of expanding the BRICS group with several  Other developing countries.

  We find that relying in trade on other currencies, such as the Chinese yuan and the Russian ruble, will reduce the pressure on the dollar, which the state is currently experiencing great difficulties in providing, especially with the unprecedented rise of the dollar.  The capital of this group is $100 billion from the member states, and there will be other additions. Therefore, it will have financing arms at the level of the world and the international economy, and from this angle, Egypt can achieve a boom in trade exchange with the rest of the member states.

 The entry of new countries into the group may change the geopolitical balances of the bloc. The BRICS countries, like China, of course, share the demand for a multipolar global economic and political balance, with China at the forefront.  Among the countries vying for membership are traditionally non-aligned countries, such as Indonesia and Ethiopia. But there are also countries openly hostile to the United States and its allies, such as Iran and Venezuela.   

  It is expected that the BRICS group with China will provide developing countries, especially African countries, with many advantages, as joining represents a step that will provide developing countries with enormous powers and financing channels, which will enhance the confidence of the international community and its financing institutions, as well as credit rating bodies in the economies of developing countries.  Including Egypt.

  Egypt’s accession, along with the African and developing countries, to the BRICS group, with China in particular, will provide a set of facilities, most notably: grants and soft loans with reduced interest, in addition to benefiting from the economic expertise of the participating countries and investment financing. The joining of many African and developing countries into various alliances will enable them to diversify their sources of income and borrowing, and it would be better for them to open up to others.

 Egypt’s joining the BRICS group will contribute to securing its needs with developing countries for essential commodities such as wheat from Russia and electronic devices from India and China, as well as coffee and tea from other countries, such as: Brazil, raw materials and other coalition countries, and there will also be preferential treatment in commercial dealings with those countries considering being partners and allies within the BRICS alliance, unlike other countries.

  Therefore, Western, especially American, fears of efforts to expand BRICS membership are increasing. The most prominent Western and American fears regarding the accession and expansion of the membership of many developing countries to the BRICS membership, led by China, lie through the fear of increasing the volume of economic cooperation between the countries of the group, which will match the power of the Western blocs and contribute to removing their hegemony, which supports the directions of a multipolar global economic system. The founding countries of the BRICS group do not act from the American perspective of condescension towards developing countries, but rather they are concerned with contributing to achieving progress and development in those countries.

  The shares of the “BRICS Group”  have recently risen in the media after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and several countries are looking to join a bloc that achieves a kind of economic polarity, especially with Russia searching for supportive partners in the face of Western economic sanctions, and a group of countries preferring to maintain strong relations with Moscow and the West’s lack of participation in its support for Ukraine. It greatly encouraged Russia to expand the group until it turned into a tool for political pressure, especially since Russia faced international isolation in its invasion of Ukraine, and many of its friendly countries did not oppose UN resolutions condemning the invasion.    

Dr.Nadia Helmy
Dr.Nadia Helmy
Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Politics and Economics / Beni Suef University- Egypt. An Expert in Chinese Politics, Sino-Israeli relationships, and Asian affairs- Visiting Senior Researcher at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)/ Lund University, Sweden- Director of the South and East Asia Studies Unit


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