A look into a new BRICS poll

One of the interesting BRICS-related developments in the course of this month was the release of a poll conducted by Gallup International with ROMIR agency conducting the Russian part of this poll. The poll was conducted in 44 countries of the world to reveal the attitudes of the population to the BRICS expansion that was launched in 2023. This is one of the very rare BRICS-related polls undertaken in multiple countries, with the emergence of such polls being a sign of the increasing stature and importance of the grouping on the international arena. Some of the sizeable developing economies did not participate in the poll, including such heavyweights from the Global South such as China, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa.

Across all of the countries where the poll was held, 17% of the respondents were supportive of the BRICS expansion process, with 19% expressing negative views, 24% opted for a neutral view on the BRICS expansion process. Almost a third of all respondents (32%) have never heard about BRICS or it expansion.   

The highest share of negative views with respect to BRICS expansion was observed in Western economies such as Sweden (45%), Spain (30%), United States (30%), Portugal (29%), and Poland (28%).

The highest shares of positive views expressed in the poll were registered in Russia (38%), Iran (37%), India/Nigeria (36%), Saudi Arabia (33%), Argentina/Malaysia (32%). But even within this category, the polarization in views was at times quite significant – in the case of India along with a high share of favourable views, 29% of the respondents viewed BRICS expansion negatively. The latter is in line with the significant misgivings expressed earlier by India regarding BRICS expansion and the BRICS+ format.

As regards Saudi Arabia, along with a high share of favourable views 55% of the respondents have never heard about BRICS expansion. The largest pro/con differential in opinions was observed in Russia (only 4% expressed negative views), while in the case of Argentina the overall positive balance was quite significant with the share of negative views reaching 13% compared to nearly a third of positive views.

The relevant poll can be found on the following link:

https://gallup.com.pk/post/36059

Overall, while the main division lines in the international poll on the BRICS expansion are in line with expectations, the results for economies such as Argentina are quite important given the recent decision of the new authorities not to join the BRICS bloc. The significant share of those that view BRICS expansion favourably in Argentina suggests that the invitation from BRICS that is to remain open in the coming years may be revisited in the future. It is also important to note that some of the main candidates to join the expanded BRICS plus have high rates of support for BRICS expansion: Indonesia (31% favourable vs 4% with negative attitude), Kazakhstan (22% vs 4%), Malaysia (32% vs 10%), Nigeria (36% vs 8%) and Pakistan (28% vs 9%). Lastly, there needs to be more information about BRICS and its expansion, particularly among the regional partners of core BRICS members – in fact the highest share of respondents that have never heard about BRICS expansion was registered in Armenia (64%), a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) – yet another indication of the need to forge closer ties and partnership among the regional blocs such as the EAEU/MERCOSUR/ASEAN and the BRICS.   

Image by athree23 via Pixabay


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