Buenos Aires — Argentina and five other countries were invited to join the BRICS economic group, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. After weeks of negotiations, and with the diplomatic support of India, China and Brazil, the government achieved that the country can be part of a group that represents 23% of the world GDP and 18% of world trade as from January 1, 2024. Unless the President who takes office on December 10 opposes it.
Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero spoke to Bloomberg Línea on Thursday at the event organized by the Council of the Americas, and said that being in the BRICS “opens the possibility for Argentina to continue strengthening markets where Argentina already is today”. He also stated that this incorporation will allow “to increase the level of exports”.
Regarding the possibility of Argentina paying imports from Brazil in yuan to face the shortage of dollars in the coffers of the central bank (BCRA), Cafiero pointed out that this is one of the proposals that Economy Minister Sergio Massa will take to Brazil on Monday.
What does Argentina’s entry into BRICS represent?
“Joining the BRICS bloc opens the possibility for Argentina to continue consolidating markets where it is already present, such as India, which is growing, and China and Brazil, and increase its exports by adding value to its production,” Cafiero said.
“What we see is an upward trend in that sense. Now, having strengthened this political and commercial link with BRICS, what we see is a great possibility,” he added.
What mechanisms and benefits can be opened for Argentina as a result?
“The tools that we may have there are part of the discussion that Argentina has been having. Argentina has been discussing the need for a change in the global financial architecture, mainly because we see that there are notorious deviations from the principles that governed the IMF after the Second World War or even the World Bank,” he said.
“The need to move forward in a new global financial architecture has to be part of a discussion, of Argentina’s statement, but at the same time, as we have been doing in the G20 of 2021, in last year’s G20 and this year we are going to raise it again, the need for a new global financial architecture.
But although we pointed that out, we also have to look for concrete solutions now, that is why we have to move forward with the new development bank, with new financing mechanisms that take into account, that have instruments that are linked to the needs of Argentina, a middle-income country that is in the process of development,” Cafiero added.
And what mechanisms are going to be opened?
“That is the second step, the first step was to join the BRICS, the second step will be to join the new development bank,” he said.
Can Argentina pay for imports from Brazil with yuan?
“Well, that is part of the negotiation that the economy ministry is carrying out and Sergio Massa will be communicating that because he is traveling to Brazil on Monday.”
What do you think about candidate Patricia Bullrich’s rejection of the offer to join BRICS?
“These are things that are said during the campaign, it is a political position, but none of this has anything to do with today’s reality,” Cafiero said.
“Among the business leaders who listened to her, most of them trade with China or receive products from China for their production chains. They also trade with Brazil, so it is fine that there are political positions and it is understood, it is part of the electoral process, but it has little to do with the geopolitical reality today,” he added.
“Today, Argentina is opening possibilities in its entry to the BRICS and that is important. Three of Argentina’s four main trading partners are in the BRICS, surely she [Bullrich] should be advised by her team if she eventually has to lead the destiny of the country, because what she has said does not make any sense.”