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The New “BRICS6” May Complicate Indonesia’s Agenda in ASEAN

Indonesia President Joko Widodo (C) inpects the honour guard during visit to State House where he met with Kenyan President William Ruto (unseen) for discussions and ratification of bilateral trade cooperation agreements in Nairobi on August 21, 2023. Tony KARUMBA / AFP

BRICS on Thursday officially invited six countries to join the group — Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, Argentina, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. After all the speculations made in local media about Indonesia’s possibility to join, the country was missing from the invite list. And that is probably for the best.

There was a case for cautious optimism surrounding Indonesia’s engagement with BRICS this week, which analysts said could be rewarding on two fronts. First, as an economic and trade opportunity, and second, as a platform for Indonesia to step up engagement with countries outside of the Western bloc.

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