Joining BRICs would lead to opportunities for Thailand


Joining the BRICs alliance would present economic opportunities for Thailand, as the alliance, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, is enjoying strong negotiating power in trade agreements, according to former finance minister Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala.

Trade with China was extensive back in the days when the Chinese economy was dominant, Thirachai pointed out, adding that this fell off after Thailand aligned itself with the US after World War II. Now that China’s global influence has grown significantly. Thailand must adjust its foreign relations strategy, lessening dependence on the USA but being cautious to avoid problems with the long-standing US relationship.

Factors contributing to the BRICs' strong negotiating position include diverse product manufacturing and ample raw materials such as oil, agricultural goods, and minerals. It is therefore suggested that Thailand should closely align itself with this group without fully siding with any party, to avoid alienating the US.

This will be particularly important given that at its just-concluded summit in Johannesburg, BRICS issued an invitation to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to become members, along with Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia and Argentina. Should they accept, the challenges of choosing sides could intensify. Global economic issues could also escalate, including potential economic bubbles in both the US and China due to real estate markets. In this context, central banks in Europe may need to address these problems through quantitative easing, which could diminish the weight of the dollar. As a result, more individuals might consider joining the BRICs to address these economic changes.

The BRICs group, whose combined economies are already approaching the size of the G7, is considering the development of a new payment system although no conclusion has yet been reached.

Establishing any single currency as the primary global currency instead of the dollar would be challenging due to the size and dispersion of the BRICs countries. Additionally, each member country would likely resist relinquishing control over monetary policy. It is therefore unlikely that the current system would be replaced with a new currency although a tokenization system might be rather than replacing the existing currencies entirely.