In a significant development, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has revealed that Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia have been invited to join the BRICS economic coalition, expanding its membership beyond its current constituents of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
The decision to broaden the BRICS alliance was reached at the 15th Summit of Heads of States and Governments held in Johannesburg. Ramaphosa expressed, “We have reached an agreement on the expansion process of BRICS.”
This marks the second instance of BRICS opting to embrace expansion. Initially formed in 2009 by Brazil, Russia, India, and China, South Africa joined the alliance a year later. Collectively, BRICS represents approximately 40% of the global population and contributes over a quarter of the world’s GDP.
Notably, during the Summit, it was disclosed that BRICS has received applications for membership from 23 countries, including Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Bolivia, Cuba, Honduras, Venezuela, Algeria, and Indonesia. The move underscores the increasing recognition and allure of the alliance on the global stage.