In a significant move to expand its global economic influence, the BRICS bloc of developing economies has extended an invitation to six new nations including Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Egypt, and Ethiopia. The announcement was made at the BRICS summit in Johannesburg by the current BRICS chair and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, signifying a strategic shift in the bloc’s approach to include more emerging economies from 2024.
Formed in 2009, the BRICS bloc, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, represents a formidable force in the global economy, contributing more than a quarter of global GDP and encompassing around 40% of the world’s population. This expansion marks the second in the bloc’s history, following the inclusion of South Africa in 2010, and underscores its drive to amplify its voice and influence on the world stage.
BRICS Bloc Expansion: Iran, Saudi Arabia Among Six New Invitations
In a significant development on Thursday, six nations including Iran and Saudi Arabia were invited to join the BRICS bloc of developing economies. The other four nations extending the list are the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Egypt, and Ethiopia. The inclusion of these countries is scheduled to take effect from 2024.
Announcement at the BRICS Summit
The announcement was made at the BRICS summit held in Johannesburg. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, whose country is the current BRICS chair, announced this strategic decision. As an association of five major emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – the BRICS nations agreed to expand the bloc at this week’s summit.
A Second Round of Expansion
This expansion marks the second time that BRICS has decided to increase its members. The bloc was originally formed in 2009 by Brazil, Russia, India, and China. South Africa was added to the group in 2010. With its current members, the BRICS bloc represents around 40% of the world’s population and contributes more than a quarter of global GDP.
Noteworthy Presence at the Summit
Three of the bloc’s leaders were present at the summit for the announcement, including Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Russian President Vladimir Putin, despite facing an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court in March for child abduction charges from Ukraine, participated virtually. Russia was represented at the announcement by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
This expansion of the BRICS bloc reflects the growing importance of these emerging economies on the global stage. The inclusion of additional countries, especially those from the Middle East and Africa, could bring new opportunities and challenges for the bloc. It also reinforces the bloc’s commitment to fostering greater cooperation and strengthening inter-regional ties.