On Thursday, South Africa, the host of the next BRICS summit, revealed that approximately twenty countries from different parts of the world have submitted applications to become members of the BRICS group, which currently includes five nations.
Furthermore, an equal number of countries have shown interest in joining the group. The BRICS group, consisting of South Africa, Brazil, China, India, and Russia, seeks to enhance its influence in international institutions, which have historically been dominated by the United States and Europe.
The group has expressed its willingness to consider expansion.
“Twenty-two countries have formally approached the Brics countries to become full members of the group, and there is the same number of countries that have informally enquired about becoming Brics members”, said South Africa’s ambassador-at-large for Asia and the BRICS, Anil Sooklal.
The countries mentioned as expressing interest, either formally or informally, in joining the BRICS group include Iran, Argentina, Bangladesh, and Saudi Arabia.
“The BRICS are not only the driving force of global strength in trying to change the fault lines in terms of global politics, they are also changing what happens in the global economic space”, said Mr Sooklal.
“The current global architecture continues to be unequal, continues to marginalise developing countries (…) and continues to be dominated by a few hegemonies. We want a world where our voices are heard”, he told AFP.
The upcoming BRICS summit, scheduled for August 22 to 24 in Johannesburg, has extended invitations to 69 countries, including several African nations. French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed interest in attending, but a decision is yet to be made. Sooklal clarified that the decision would be a collective one, as BRICS operates on consensus.
Since its formal inception in 2009, the BRICS group has grown significantly, now representing 23% of the global GDP and 42% of the world’s population, as per the summit’s official website. This growth further underscores the group’s increasing influence on the global stage.