BRICS Expansion: Saudi, Iran, UAE, Egypt, Ethiopia Join Ranks

The 15th BRICS Summit has occurred in Johannesburg, South Africa and the summit became the venue for receiving 5 more countries as new members of the group. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, and Iran were the countries that joined the ranks. Argentina was invited but withdrew the offer at the end of December. Since established in 2006, BRICS has been a significant venue for cooperation among emerging countries and markets. More members of the group mean increased clout for the group in the global market.

Worldwide expansion

The latest BRICS expansion boasts a mixed population of around 3.5 billion people with a mixed economy worth more than $28.5tn. The growth of BRICS is capable of making a change in the geopolitical environment; however, analysts are not sure whether the expansion will be a help or a block to BRICS members. Some analysts believe that the differences inside the group may decrease the decision-making and BRICS power. Anyway, BRICS members hope the expansion could bring excellent representation for emerging economies and save them from depending too much on the US dollar.

In August 2022, Brazil's President asked BRICS countries to choose a common currency for trade and investment between the countries in the group.

Presidency role of Russia

Following on South Africa’s chairmanship in 2023, Russia took over the presidency role of BRICS on Monday. Russia will be in the presidential role for one year under this year’s motto – “Strengthening Multilateralism for Equitable Global Development and Security". This year’s BRICS summit will be hosted in Kazan in October. Vladimir Putin, the Russian President stated that he will try to increase the role of BRICS in the global financial market and will take all means and efforts to facilitate a harmonious integration of new members in activities.

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