The BRICS alliance, consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, has been the subject of much discussion and speculation lately. Many countries, including Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Egypt, Bahrain, and Indonesia, have expressed their interest in joining the bloc. Indonesian academic Siwage Negara sheds light on why joining BRICS would be advantageous for Indonesia.
Negara emphasizes the economic benefits of joining the BRICS community. Being a member of BRICS would grant Indonesia access to a larger market and export opportunities. According to Negara, Indonesia’s trade with BRICS countries has been increasing steadily over the years. In 2019, Indonesia’s total trade with BRICS stood at $56.6 billion, accounting for nearly 15% of the country’s total trade. Therefore, becoming a member of BRICS would open doors for Indonesia to strengthen its economic ties with these influential nations.
Furthermore, Negara highlights the potential for increased foreign direct investment (FDI) that comes with BRICS membership. BRICS nations have often invested in one another, and joining this alliance would present Indonesia with more investment opportunities. Being part of BRICS would enhance Indonesia’s profile as an attractive investment destination and boost its economic growth.
In addition to the economic advantages, BRICS membership would also bolster Indonesia’s political influence on the global stage. As an alliance representing significant emerging economies, BRICS has gained recognition and influence in international forums, such as the G20. Joining BRICS would give Indonesia a platform to voice its opinions and contribute to decision-making processes on global issues. This would enhance Indonesia’s stature as a global player and provide an avenue to promote its national interests.
Negara believes that BRICS membership would facilitate knowledge sharing and technical collaboration. The alliance has established various platforms for information exchange, research cooperation, and policy coordination. By becoming a member, Indonesia would have access to these platforms, allowing it to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of BRICS countries in various fields, such as infrastructure development, technology, and innovation. This collaboration could accelerate Indonesia’s progress in key sectors and contribute to its overall development.
There are, however, challenges to be considered in joining BRICS. One such challenge is the level of economic integration required to align with the BRICS economies. Indonesia would need to adjust its policies and regulations to harmonize with the existing BRICS framework. This would require significant efforts and coordination to ensure a smooth integration process.
Another challenge is the potential overlap of interests and competition that might arise within the bloc. BRICS countries have diverse economic structures and priorities. Indonesia would need to navigate these differences carefully to ensure that its interests are adequately represented and promoted within the alliance. Effective communication and negotiation are key in addressing these challenges and fostering collaborative relationships within BRICS.
In conclusion, Siwage Negara sheds light on the reasons why Indonesia is eager to join the BRICS alliance. The economic benefits, such as access to a larger market, increased FDI, and trade opportunities, are enticing for Indonesia. Moreover, becoming a member would enhance Indonesia’s political influence and provide a platform for knowledge sharing and technical collaboration. While challenges exist, such as aligning with the BRICS framework and managing potential competition, the potential advantages make joining BRICS a highly desirable prospect for Indonesia.