Bolivia Wants To Join BRICS
Asset-rich but relatively poor nation has the fastest GDO growth rate in Latin America
The ever-growing list of nations ready to enter the BRICS economic bloc now includes Bolivia, according to Foreign Minister Rogelio Mayta. The minister said his nation would attend the summit of the bloc – which is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – in Johannesburg set for August 22–24, and that Bolivian President Luis Arce will present his vision for the country’s future economic and social development at the meeting.
“We want to inform you that on June 12, 2023, President Arce officially communicated Bolivia’s willingness to join the group,” Mayta said, explaining that his country wanted to move towards sustainable and inclusive development and strengthen cooperation with emerging economies.
He stated that Bolivia had discussed the matter with all five members of the bloc. “We know that it is a long process, but we are on the right path, working hard for the country,” Mayta said.
GDP: US$45.2 billion
GDP Per Capita: US$3,268
2023 Anticipated Growth Rate: 2.5%
Population: 12.08 million
Bolivia is landlocked, and bordered by Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay to the southeast, Argentina to the south, Chile to the southwest, and Peru to the west.
Bolivia is a charter member of the UN, IMF, NAM, OAS, ACTO, Bank of the South, ALBA, and USAN. Bolivia remains the second poorest country in South America, however it has slashed poverty rates and has the fastest growing economy in South America. It is a developing country, with its main economic activities including agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, and manufacturing goods such as textiles, clothing, refined metals, and refined petroleum.
Bolivia is very rich in minerals, including tin, silver, lithium, and copper, which will be attractive to BRICS member China especially, who has also invested considerable sums of money into the country via the Belt & Road Initiative, including neighbouring Peru with ports specifically built to handle future Bolivian exports.
In June, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that nearly 20 countries were willing to join BRICS, describing it as a sign of the bloc’s increased role in the international arena, while Anil Sooklal, South Africa’s ambassador-at-large, put the number at more than 40.
Argentina, Iran, and Algeria were among the countries that formally applied to join BRICS in 2022, with Egypt, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia following suit this year. In late June, it was reported that BRICS could agree to admit a total of five countries to the bloc at the Johannesburg summit, including Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Argentina. We provided details of countries who have made applications here.
The BRICS, which began as an informal club of non-Western emerging economies, now accounts for over 40% of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP.