Türkiye and BRICS: What are the mutual economic benefits?

As BRICS expands to challenge the Western-dominated global financial and trade order, Türkiye’s potential membership in the bloc of major developing economies that Ankara has expressed a desire to join could bring significant mutual benefits for both sides.


Having long been frustrated by a lack of progress in talks to join the European Union, Türkiye has been pursuing new alliances. Officials have recently voiced the nation’s interest in becoming one of the BRICS members, which includes China and Russia.

Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said late Monday that Ankara was “holding talks and negotiations with the BRICS countries, and they’re also going through an evolution.”

BRICS was formed by Brazil, Russia, India and China in 2009 and evolved into its current form with the inclusion of South Africa in 2010. It sought to provide a platform for its members to challenge a world order dominated by the U.S. and its Western allies.

Analysts argue that the bloc, representing some of the world’s leading nations in terms of population, industrial might and rich energy resources, is rapidly advancing as a potential counterbalance to the existing world order.

BRICS currently represents around 40% of the world’s population and more than a quarter of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) and that number is set to increase.

This year, the group expanded to include Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with more than 40 other countries expressing interest in joining, signifying a growing global economic and political force.

Türkiye’s potential membership has been met with enthusiasm by some analysts, who believe it would provide the country with access to new markets, investment opportunities and a stronger voice in global affairs.

They point to the nation’s strong manufacturing sector, its young and growing population and its strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa as factors that would make it a valuable addition to the bloc.

Others caution that joining BRICS could also have drawbacks, potentially straining Türkiye’s relations with the West. However, Ankara has long sought to maintain a balance in an increasingly polarized world.

It has been a member of NATO since 1952 and is part of Europe’s defense system. However, its negotiations with the EU have failed to advance since its accession talks started back in 2005.

Still, Türkiye has repeatedly said it remained a committed member of the military alliance and maintained its goal of full EU membership.

The agenda has recently focused on establishing an intra-BRICS payment system, creating a new reserve currency, and advancing de-dollarization processes to reduce global reliance on the greenback.

It is something that Türkiye favors as it has long advocated for goods exchange in local currencies with its biggest trade partners.

“The different and beautiful thing about BRICS compared to the EU is that it includes all civilizations and races,” Fidan said late Monday. “If it can become a little more institutional, it will produce serious benefits.”

Fidan was first asked about the group during his trip to Beijing earlier this month, the highest-level visit by a Turkish official to China since 2012.

When asked whether Türkiye would want to join BRICS, he said: “We would like to, of course. Why would we not?” However, he did not elaborate further.

Türkiye’s desire has been welcomed by Russia, with Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov saying earlier this month the subject would be on the agenda of the organization’s next summit, to be held in October.

Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed Ankara’s bid during a meeting with Fidan in Moscow on the sidelines of the BRICS+ foreign ministers meeting more than two weeks ago. “We welcome Türkiye’s interest in the work of BRICS. Undoublty, we will support this aspiration and desire to be together with the countries of this union, to be closer,” Putin said.

Experts point out that Türkiye’s membership would enhance BRICS’ geopolitical significance and bolster its influence in Europe, North Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The fact that it’s one of the world’s leading emerging economies, featuring a strong industrial base and market dynamics, would expand the group’s market size and trade volume, creating new opportunities for investment and economic cooperation among member countries.

Particularly noted is Türkiye’s expertise in infrastructure development, which could play a complementary role in BRICS’ efforts to address critical infrastructure gaps and facilitate economic linkages across regions.

Experts highlight that joining BRICS would give Türkiye greater access to some of the world’s largest emerging markets and could open up valuable opportunities for Turkish exporters.

The acronym BRIC, which did not initially include South Africa, was coined in 2001 by then Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill in a research paper that underlined the growth potential of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

The group is not a formal multilateral organization like the U.N., World Bank, or the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).