n Development Finance Agenda (DEFA) - Is there a role for BRICS in Asian Affairs?

Volume 2, Issue 1
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BRICS is an important rising force in current global governance system. The priorities of previous cooperation within BRICS have been given to reforming major international financial institutions since 2009 and were extended to international security and development issues in recent years. At regional level, BRICS leaders held dialogue with their counterparts in Africa and South America in the two latest BRICS summits respectively. However, BRICS hasn't paid much attention to Asian issues by giving very few attentions to Asian economic issues and security issues in East Asia. The weak and unbalanced agenda of BRICS towards Asian affairs is unusual considering the importance of Asia to BRICS members and the BRICS group has three prominent Asian members with global ambitions. The absence of a strong Asian agenda within BRICS reflects some dimensions of the grouping and the region itself. Firstly, the priority of the BRICS countries is to promote their global status, which makes global issues rather than regional issues more attractive for them. Secondly,Asian members of the BRICS group were not capable of solving Asian security challenges individually or collectively. Thirdly, Asia is not a highly integrated region similar to African and South America partially because of competitions among major powers including Asian members of the BRICS group. However, BRICS can't avoid exploring its influence in shaping Asia's future considering the region's rising importance and challenges. In order to improve their influence in Asia against the background of competing regional institutions and renewed interest of the United States to Asia, BRICS countries need to coordinate their individual approaches to Asia, provide more regional public goods by multilateral means, offer either solutions or ideas to regional security issues and find a more sustainable way to engage with the region.

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