Since its formation in 2006, the BRICS group has only accepted one new member in 2010. Now, 19 countries have formally or informally approached the body to become members as it prepares to hold its annual summit in South Africa.
Five Arab countries are among those who have expressed their interest in joining the BRICS group, South Africa’s Ambassador Anil Sooklal said in an interview.
Saudi Arabia and Iran have made formal requests to join, while the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain and Algeria have joined Argentina and Indonesia and a number of African states in expressing an interest in joining.
What will be discussed is the expansion of Brics and the modalities of how this will happen, Sooklal said. Thirteen countries have formally asked to join and another six have asked informally. We are getting applications to join every day.
According to Professor of International Law at Brazil’s FGV Direito SP University, Dr Salem Nasser, these requests show that there are ongoing changes in the balance of world power.
BRICS represent a new pole of economic and political power which will compete with North American hegemony. Nasser, however, does not believe that through joining BRICS these countries will be aligning themselves with China or closing the door on cooperation with the West.
Since its establishment, BRICS – an acronym for five regional economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – included the world’s fastest-growing economies at the time.
However, Chinese President Li Jintao described BRICS as the defender of the interests of developing countries and a force for world peace. With the body now setting itself up as an alternative to existing international financial and political forums.
Middle East Monitor / ABC Flash Point Global Development Blog News 2023.