PALMOILMAGAZINE, JAKARTA – The classic Indonesian drama “Sandyakalaning Majapahit” or “Senja Majapahit,” narrates the tale of the intricate intrigues within Majapahit, an influential agrarian and maritime superpower during the 15th century, which ultimately culminated in its downfall. However, it also portrays the aspirations for the emergence of a fresh empire in a new era.
Can we expect the same from the expanding BRICS members with the dawn of a stronger third world power?
Since the establishment of the European Union in 1993 when the Maastricht Treaty came into force on November 1, 1993, the EU has grown to 27 member states in Europe. With its enormous economic power, the EU has had an indispensable impact on the global economy and security. Its influence in resources allows EU countries to shape global issues, perceptions and agendas that often deviate from reality.
However, both the EU and the US are now on the verge of exclusivity and irrelevance in the new multi-polar world order.
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In terms of economic power, the EU accounts for only 15 percent of global GDP today, down from 25 percent in 1990, while BRICS, after the joining of six new members in January 2024, will account for nearly 30 percent of global GDP, according to the IMF.
The six new members that will join BRICS in January are: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The enlarged BRICS with 11 members will represent 46.5% of the world’s population.
The five founding countries and current BRICS members – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – have from the outset asserted that their economic and demographic power and influence are underrepresented in world institutions, especially the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
A survey conducted by ISEAS Singapore last year showed the startling fact that in the eyes of ASEAN and Indonesian citizens, the European Union is no longer seen as having strategic economic and political influence. In 2021, there were still 2.3 percent of Indonesians who thought the EU was a major economic influence in ASEAN, but this figure dropped to zero in 2021.
As host of the 15th BRICS Summit on August 12-14, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that BRICS is consistent with the values of solidarity and progress. BRICS is consistent with the aspirations of inclusiveness and a more just and equitable order. BRICS is sustainable development.
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