The BRICS grouping will invite six nations to become full members as the club of extensive and populous emerging economies seeks to boost its clout in the global arena. The new members will be Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Argentina, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. They will join Brazil, Russia, China, India, and South Africa from January 1 next year. The move will make the grouping, representing a quarter of the world’s economy and population, more diverse as it takes on an increasingly global role.
South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the BRICS summit wrapped up in Johannesburg. ‘This expansion will give our grouping greater vigor and raise the voices of countries in the Global South,’ he said. He said he was sure that the new members would be able to contribute significantly to the development of the global economy and world order.
Iran’s inclusion in BRICS will be seen as a move to counter Western efforts to isolate the oil-producing nation. It is also an attempt to boost ties with non-Western nations as Tehran faces continuing sanctions over its nuclear program and fresh political tensions. Saudi Arabia’s inclusion will also help bolster its influence and show that it can withstand Western criticism of its human rights record.
China’s President Xi Jinping said the expansion was “historic” and would bring new dynamism to the bloc. He added that it would help promote economic cooperation between the emerging powers. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi echoed this sentiment, saying that the enlarged grouping would play an essential role in global economic governance.
Despite their histories, the countries invited to become BRICS will share similar challenges and aspirations. They all hold a significant portion of the world’s natural resources and are emerging global powers. They are also home to many talented people and have a lot of potential to grow even further.
In his address to the summit, Mr Ramaphosa also highlighted some of the achievements of the grouping’s member nations. He specifically praised the success of India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission to the moon. He also emphasized the importance of BRICS cooperation in various areas such as trade and investment, climate change, global security, and the fight against corruption.
While many in the global financial community are skeptical about the impact of a BRICS-enlarged grouping, the current members have shown commitment to work together to push for a more democratic and equitable international order. It will now be up to the incoming members to demonstrate their worth. If they do, the enlarged BRICS could rival other prominent international groups in strength and influence. A more diversified BRICS will be better equipped to face various challenges in the years ahead.