Amid loan negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which so far have failed to bear any fruit, Mahmoud bin Mabrouk, a spokesman for the pro-Tunisian President Kais Saeid’s “July 25 Movement,” has stated that the North African country is considering joining the BRICS economic bloc.
Bin Mabrouk, while speaking to the Arab News Agency about Tunisia’s loan negotiations with the IMF, on Saturday, April 8th, said: “We will accept no dictates or interference in Tunisia’s internal affairs. We are negotiating the terms, but we refuse to receive instructions and the EU’s agenda.”
The BRICS countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—represent “a political, economic and financial alternative that will enable Tunisia to open up to the new world,” Bin Mabrouk continued. He added that Tunisia’s accession into the bloc would provide the country with massive economic benefits, which in turn would improve the country’s social conditions.
Comprising 31.59% of the world’s GDP as of 2022, the BRICS nations’ total economic output has now surpassed that of the G7 group’s, which at the same time stood at 30.39%, down from 50.42% in 1982.
In separate—and arguably more explicit—comments given to Russian state media concerning the possibility of Tunisia joining BRICS, Bin Mabrouk was quoted as saying: “I have information that Tunis is seriously considering the issue of joining the BRICS group.”
“This is being considered along with other possibilities, and this is not ruled out,” he added, citing informed sources in the Tunisian government.
Earlier this month, on April 6th, Tunisian President Kais Saied made it clear “diktats” from the IMF would not be accepted by his government. The IMF, as a part of its proposed $1.9 million loan package, had pushed Tunisia to remove state subsidies on basic goods, particularly food and energy. President Kais Saied insists that had his government accepted these terms, it could have very well led to the great impoverishment of the Tunisian people and potential social unrest.
If Tunisia does decide to apply for membership in BRICS, it would become the second North African country to do so. Algeria, in November of 2022, officially applied to join the economic group.