On Thursday, President Joko Widodo said in Johannesburg, on the last day of the 15th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Brics, that his country, the largest economy in Southeast Asia, “is still analyzing and weighing whether or not to join the group.”
We do not want to make a hasty decision, Widodo said in a video released from South Africa, in which he added that Indonesia has “good relations with the Brics countries, especially in the economic sector.”
The group took a historic step on Thursday, when it agreed to bring Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates and Iran into the bloc in a bid to join forces.
Some 40 countries expressed their desire to join the group, according to South Africa, which holds this year’s rotating presidency of the Brics and received formal expressions of interest from 23 countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Honduras and Venezuela.
Indonesia was expected to be one of the candidates to join the expansion, but the country finally decided not to submit a letter of application for membership.
Joining the Brics at this time is seen in Indonesia as an economic opportunity that could come at a geopolitical “cost” if the group can eventually be seen as a rival to the Group of Seven (G7) most developed countries, according to an editorial published in The Jakarta Post this week.