Rama Krishna Sangem
BRICS, one of the world’s newest trade and cooperation blocs in which India is a founding member, will be expanded from five to 11 members. BRICS which stand for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – held its 15th summit at Johannesburg in South Africa and took this decision to expand.
The leaders of the BRICS nations on August 24, Thursday decided to admit Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as the new members of the grouping. The decision was announced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at a joint media briefing along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
The new members will become part of BRICS with effect from January 1, 2024, Ramaphosa announced. He said the decision on the new members was agreed upon after firming up the guiding principles, criteria and procedures for the expansion process.
“This is first phase of expansion”
“We have consensus on the first phase of this Brics expansion process,” Ramaphosa said at the end of the grouping’s summit in Johannesburg. “We have decided to invite Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to become full members of Brics,” he said.
“We value the interests of other countries in building partnership with BRICS and have tasked our foreign ministers to further develop the Brics partnership model and list of prospective countries (which want to join the grouping),” Ramaphosa added.
PM Modi said that the decision to expand BRICS will further strengthen the belief of many countries in a multipolar world and India has had “very deep and historic” relations with these nations. “I am confident that we would be able to give new dynamism to Brics by working with new member countries of grouping,” he added.
Ramaphosa also said that the leaders have tasked their foreign ministers to further develop the BRICS partnership model and make a list of prospective countries.