Brazil’s Lula Presidential Victory Likely To Lead To Potential BRICS Expansion

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By Chris Devonshire-Ellis 

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s victory in Brazil’s Presidential elections can be expected to help develop ties with both China and Russia. Lula, as he is informally known as, was responsible for ushering Brazil into the BRICS grouping in 2009. More left-wing socialist than his predecessor, Lula also helped develop stronger ties with both Beijing and Moscow in his previous Presidency. As a result, China today is Brazil’s top trade partner, with the two countries achieving US$135 billion in bilateral trade last year. Trade with Russia is also increasing, and becoming increasingly valuable – Russia is a major source of fertilizers for Brazil while Russia is also building nuclear power plants for the country. As Moscow seeks new trade partners, this trend can also be expected to grow.

It is also a win for the ‘Global South’ – with Lula also keen on establishing the BRICS grouping – which also includes India and South Africa – as a counterbalance to the United States. His knowledge and relations with Mercosur – Latin America’s trade bloc – nations may also extend to a BRICS expansion. The grouping actively discussed this earlier this year in a meeting of BRICS Foreign Ministers. Argentina was part of those discussions while Nicaragua is also known to be interested, one of several countries that wish to move their trade dependency away from the United States. Lula will provide a sympathetic ear.

The current BRICS grouping have also stated that existing members of the G20 – which includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkiye, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union – may be prioritized to become members of a BRICS+ grouping. In reality, that would include Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Turkiye. With the G20 due to meet in Indonesia on November 15 & 16, and Saudi Arabia and Turkiye also proposed members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, there will be plenty of opportunities for renewed discussions on the issue.  

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