The BRICS group, a crucial platform for emerging markets and developing nations, has formally accepted five new members: Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Ethiopia.
Their inclusion, effective as of Monday, marks a noteworthy enlargement for the bloc originally established by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
This expansion responds to a surge in membership requests in recent years, underscoring the increasing significance and influence of the BRICS group.
At the Johannesburg Summit in August 2023, the five new members were formally invited to join, acknowledging their economic potential and strategic importance within their respective regions.
President Vladimir Putin of Russia, set to assume the rotating chairmanship of BRICS in 2024, has underscored the group’s dedication to “strengthening multilateralism for equitable global development and security.”
Russia is planning to host more than 200 political, economic, and social events across 10 cities throughout the year, concluding with a summit in Kazan in October.
Putin has expressed confidence that BRICS activities will positively impact the international system. He argues that an increasing number of countries are exploring alternatives to the US-led “rules-based order,” opting to be guided by their own interests and those of their partners. According to him, this shift will create favorable conditions for collaborative development.
These objectives were reiterated by Putin during his year-end press conference, where he committed to effectively implementing decisions made at the Johannesburg Summit, including those related to expanding BRICS membership.
The addition of these five new members substantially enhances the group’s economic and political influence, representing a combined population of over 2.5 billion and a collective GDP exceeding $16 trillion.
The potential impact of this expanded BRICS on global economic and political dynamics in the coming years remains to be seen.