The much-anticipated expansion of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) bloc has gained momentum with the current members having collectively decided to extend invitations to six countries to become full members, effective from January 2024.
“As the five BRICS countries, we have reached agreement on the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures of the BRICS expansion process, which has been under discussion for quite a while. We have consensus on the first phase of this expansion process, and further phases will follow.
“We have decided to invite the Argentine Republic, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to become full members of BRICS. The membership will take effect from 1 January 2024,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said.
President Ramaphosa said this in his capacity as Chair of BRICS and President of the Republic of South Africa during a media briefing to announce the outcomes of the XV BRICS Summit held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on Thursday.
The debate over the expansion of BRICS topped the agenda at the three-day summit where the leaders of the emerging economies held meetings.
This announcement is expected to propel the group towards increased global influence in world relations as it already represents more than 40% of the world’s population (at least 3 billion people) and some 31% of the global GDP.
President Ramaphosa expressed that the bloc values the interest of other countries in building a partnership with BRICS.
He also announced that the leaders have tasked their respective Foreign Ministers to further develop the BRICS partner country model and a list of prospective partner countries and report by the next Summit.
BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue
The Heads of State will later today host leaders from Africa and the Global South in the BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue.
President Ramaphosa said this is aimed at having an inclusive dialogue on key issues affecting developing economies.
“This is so that we can have an inclusive dialogue on key issues affecting developing economies and identify actions that we can take together towards a more equitable, inclusive and representative world,” he said.
The President concluded by thanking the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China, together with their delegations, for participating in the “most successful” 15th BRICS Summit.
Through this Summit, he said, BRICS has embarked on a new chapter in its effort to build a world that is fair; a world that is just; a world that is also inclusive and prosperous.