Antara News are reporting that Jerry Sambuaga, Indonesia’s Deputy Minister of Trade said to reporters in Semarang on Friday (18/08/23) that Indonesia has interests in joining BRICS to explore opportunities and expand non-traditional markets to Africa and Latin America.
BRICS, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, is an economic alliance for developing countries and according to India’s The Economic Times, accounts for more than 40-percent of the world’s population and about 26-percent of the global economy, offering an alternative forum for countries outside diplomatic channels seen as dominated by traditional Western powers. Its influence and economic heft has more nations eager to join. Antara News say that more than 40-countries have expressed interest in joining the BRICS group of nations.
Sambuaga said that BRICS provides different regions from what Indonesia has done with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and G20.
“The focus is different from what we do in ASEAN, in APEC, or the G20. There is a new region … Brazil in Latin America, South Africa in Africa. It could be an entry point for exploration that has not been done yet,” he said.
Sambuaga, however, did not give any confirmation on whether Indonesia had decided to join BRICS. He further said that there is an opportunity and potential for Indonesia to join the bloc, say Antara News.
“We have interests (in joining the BRICS),” he stated.
Sambuaga noted that before the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) Cooperation or the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) existed, there was a discourse which stated that there should be two countries with the initials “I” in the BRICS, namely India and Indonesia.
Indonesia has one of the largest populations like other member countries of BRICS, and the global economy cannot be separated from the population, he pointed out.
President Jokowi, stated earlier this month that the government will decide on the possibility of Indonesia joining BRICS.
The BRICS will conduct its summit on August 22 to 24 in Johannesburg, South Africa, which has held its presidency since January 1, 2023.
Maritime and Investment Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, during his visit to Johannesburg on July 11, stated that Indonesia is exploring the possibility of importing 50,000 cows and 300,000 tons of soybeans from South Africa, say Antara News.
He expressed hope that the agreement on imports would be signed before Jokowi’s visit to South Africa to attend the BRICS Summit at the end of August 2023.
Source: Antara News, The Economic Times