The Special Report titled BRICS in the Multipolar World: Perspective from Bangladesh is a product a research project of the KRF Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA) to understand BRICS as a multilateral body from a perspective of Bangladesh. The study is based on qualitative data and information from secondary sources. BRICS, consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has emerged as a major global forum for advancing multilateralism among the leading economies of the world from the Global South. BRICS nations incorporate approximately 42% of the world’s population and nearly 32 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP). The acronym BRIC, which encompasses the countries Brazil, Russia, India, and China, was originally introduced in 2001 by Jim O’Neil, an economist at Goldman Sachs. The formation of this group in 2009, which subsequently expanded to include South Africa, has been widely interpreted as a representation of economic prospects and positive outlook for developing nations across Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania, commonly referred to as the Global South.
With its inception in the late 2000s, BRICS has generated new prospects and promises of solidarity, cooperation and understanding among the leading nations from the global South for achieving the common objective of economic prosperity. Countries from Asia, Africa and Latin American regions have been struggling to create common platforms for mutual interests and cooperation for decades since the end of the World War II. The Bandung Conference (1955), Non-Aligned Movement, and the Group-77 are some of the historical instances that demonstrate the urge of the non-Western countries to forge unity and to create solidarity among the nations that suffered from colonial exploitation and global structural inequalities for centuries. In the post-Cold War era, major economies of the developing world could not find a major forum to discuss their common challenges at the global levels except several regional initiatives such as Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), ASEAN Plus Three, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Bay of Bengal Initiative for Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), Southern African Development Community (SADC), African Unity (AU), and MERCUSOR. BRICS came as a perfect idea of a group that encompasses members from different continents, demonstrating inclusivity and diversity.
The importance of BRICS assumes a new dimension with the possibility of Bangladesh’s membership to this group. Bangladesh has been invited to join the 15th Summit of BRICS to be held in South Africa, August 2023. The Report argues that the prospective membership of Bangladesh will open up new opportunities for BRICS to expand its role in multifaceted areas and a scope for sharing common experiences. Bangladesh will be able to be more proactive in global concerns and participate in agenda shaping. It would improve bilateral trade and foreign investments in Bangladesh. Whatever the form of relations between Bangladesh and BRICS, it is immensely beneficial for both the parties. Bangladesh is a founding member of BRICS initiated New Development Bank which demonstrates its linkage with this group before the current era of global politics. As a champion of the global South and an advocate of nonalignment and independent foreign policy, Bangladesh and BRICS will thrive together in establishing justice, peace and development in the world. In brief, the special report on the BRICS provides a basic understanding of BRICS and how it is linked with Bangladesh in the wider global context.