Nineteen countries expressed an interest in joining the BRICS group of nations as it prepares to hold an annual summit in South Africa.
The emerging-markets bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will meet in Cape Town on June 2-3 to discuss its enlargement. Anil Sooklal, South Africa’s ambassador to the group, said in an interview in the city on April 24.
Anil Sooklal, South Africa’s ambassador to the group, said in an interview that, “What will be discussed is the expansion of BRICS and the modalities of how this will happen. Thirteen countries have formally asked to join and another six have asked informally. We are getting applications to join every day,” Bloomberg quoted him as saying.
The Foreign Ministers from the five-member States have all confirmed they’ll attend the discussions in June, Anil Sooklal said. In addition to its membership, they will also discuss “hot spots”, including Sudan, where a conflict between the army and a paramilitary force continued.
The BRICS, which represents around one-fifth of the world’s economy, has emerged as a powerful new voice in the world. At present, the five members of BRICS contribute 16 per cent to world trade and around 24 per cent to global GDP. Since its formation as the BRIC in 2006, the group has only admitted one new member – South Africa in 2010.
Saudi Arabia and Iran are among the countries who’ve formally asked to join, Anil Sooklal said in February.
The potential expansion of the bloc cannot be ruled out considering the systemic competition between the United States and China and the frequently changing scenario of world politics, experts said, adding that the demand to join the group will expand further as the great powers, as well as small powers, would seek alliances to secure their strategic interests amid growing tensions with the US over the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Today, BRICS is perceived as the challenger to the West-led organisations, as the latter does not represent the contemporary interests of the present world systems and economics. Current discussions on BRICS currency have again ignited the concept of de-dollarisation. A new world order is shaping up, according to various experts.
However, concerns still loom when China initiated the conversation about expansion when it was BRICS chair last year. The proposed enlargement triggered concern among other members that their influence will be diluted, especially if Beijing’s close allies are admitted. Realising that China’s gross domestic product is more than twice the size of all four other BRICS members combined.
The emerging market bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa has gained the attention of several countries as they are providing an alternative choice to the world where the West has predominantly shown its authority. Further, cornering the developing and under-developing countries’ interests.