I see the decision to join BRICS positively. The importance of cooperation among developing countries is growing day by day. The more we can diversify our foreign relations, the better we will do. It will have a role in trade and finance.
The New Development Bank (NDB) was established under an initiative of BRICS. The five founding countries are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Later, some other countries were allowed to be its members and Bangladesh grabbed the opportunity.
Bangladesh has also become a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and received the very first loan disbursed by the bank.
We should keep it in mind that three BRICS countries – India, Brazil and South Africa respectively – will serve the G-20 (19 countries and the European Union forum) as its president in the next three terms.
The next BRICS summit is likely to be held in August. A decision may come from the summit whether the dollar can be replaced with an alternative currency for international transactions.
BRICS has geopolitical objectives, but I don't think they are too conflicting with the West. India is a member of BRICS, along with China. At the same time, it is an US ally in the Indo-Pacific Alliance.
Bangladesh needs to adapt to the changing world and diversify its relations. It has to expand the business opportunities and credit availability. I see joining BRICS as consistent with the balanced foreign policy that Bangladesh wants to adopt.
It is not a sudden move that Bangladesh applied to join BRICS. Earlier, we became a member of the NDB paying a large amount of fees. In continuation of the move, joining the BRICS as its member came to the fore on a very logical ground.
Many BRICS nations are members of the G20. Now, it is getting more attention whether the NDB loans are being used properly or not, whether there is good governance or not.
Although BRICS is an alliance of developing nations, it cannot stay away from democracy, good governance, human rights and freedom of speech. It must accept them.
Even if Bangladesh joins the BRICS, it does not seem that it will be able to stay away from protecting democracy, good governance, human rights and freedom of speech.