Caricom needs to consider BRICS

The national flags of Caricom countries attending the symposium on crime as a public health issue at the Hyatt Regency. - Photo by Roger Jacob
The national flags of Caricom countries attending the symposium on crime as a public health issue at the Hyatt Regency. - Photo by Roger Jacob

THE EDITOR: Caricom's potential for deeper engagement with BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries and South-South co-operation must not be ignored. The term "South-South agreement" encompasses the array of partnerships between countries in the Global South (generally countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Oceania) designed to promote economic, social or political co-operation.

Meanwhile, BRICS countries, as a group of fast-growing, large economies that have the potential to become major global players in the 21st century, are viewed as critical actors in the South-South co-operation discourse.

Developing countries often share similar challenges and opportunities, such as poverty, inequality and the need for infrastructure and sustainable development. Hence, South-South co-operation is an essential platform for developing countries to share experiences, collaborate on solutions and implement best practices.

Countries like Jamaica have played active roles in various South-South agreements and initiatives, including those related to trade, development and climate change.

As a member of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), Jamaica has also been actively promoting regional integration and co-operation in several areas. Furthermore, Jamaica's involvement in the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) has demonstrated its commitment to co-operating with small island developing states (SIDS) and addressing climate change-related issues.

Deepening relations with BRICS countries could provide a platform for trade, investment and technology transfer. For example, China, one of the BRICS countries, has already established itself as a significant investor and trading partner in Jamaica, focusing on infrastructure development and tourism.

Meanwhile, India has demonstrated an interest in increasing its economic engagement with Jamaica, particularly in renewable energy and agriculture. The New Development Bank, established by BRICS countries, could also be a potential source of financing for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in Jamaica.

The Monroe Doctrine, dating back to the early 19th century, is a US foreign policy doctrine that considers external powers intervening in the politics of the Americas as hostile acts. However, as China, Russia, Brazil and Mexico assert their foreign policies and increase their influence in the region, the Monroe Doctrine's relevance has waned in recent years.

The doctrine's efficacy in limiting external powers' influence in the Americas will continue to depend on economic, military and political developments in the region and worldwide.

In the face of global economic hegemony dominated by the West, emerging economies like China, Russia and India are developing alternatives to the US dollar and challenging Western dominance.

The latest BRICS summit saw the participation of major emerging economies and signalled a challenge to the G7, demonstrating that Russia, China and the Global South are preparing for a prolonged fight against Western dominance.

As the US's international decline continues, countries such as BRICS are creating their own institutions with different values, like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with China and 14 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Caricom must explore the opportunities offered by deeper engagement with BRICS countries and South-South co-operation, as they provide a platform for Caricom countries to share experiences, collaborate on solutions, and implement best practices with developing countries sharing similar challenges and opportunities.

We must read the lay of the land with regard to international politics and strategise wisely for the future.


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"Caricom needs to consider BRICS"

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