Could BRICS rescue Argentina’s economy?

Buenos Aires, Argentina – Patricia Bullrich is working the crowd. Speaking to representatives of more than 600 companies at the 2023 AmCham Summit in Buenos Aires, the former left-wing rebel fighter and current historic drought have all served to boost the election prospects of the Juntos por el Cambio candidates, as well as those of La Libertad Avanza’s (Freedom Advances) Javier Milei — a political outsider who has proposed dollarising the Argentinian economy.

“BRICS has the capacity to redefine Argentina’s relationship with debt,” Julio Gambina, an economist and professor at the National University of Rosario in Argentina, told Al Jazeera. “Its investments could allow the country to build a community economy that prioritises the needs of people and families rather than transnational companies. But this is still a theoretical.”

Hampering Argentina’s potential entry to BRICS is its history of joining and later departing international alliances, said Juan Gabriel Tokatlian, a professor of international relations at Torcuato Di Tella University in Buenos Aires.

In 1973, Argentina joined the Non-Aligned Movement — a coalition of countries that stood opposed to Cold War-era polarisation and promoted the interests of the developing world — only to exit the group in 1991. And it was a member of the Union of South American Nations before withdrawing in 2019.

“If Argentina were to gain entrance to BRICS only to drop out because an entering government has a different political orientation, that would be very costly,” Tokatlian told Al Jazeera. “At the same time, the BRICS countries want to be certain that new entrants to the bloc will remain. So they’re making their own strategic calculations.”

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