South Africa announced on Thursday that twenty-two countries from around the world have formally applied to become full members of the BRICS bloc, and many others have shown informal interest.
BRICS, comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, considers itself a counterbalance to Western economic dominance and has expressed openness to expansion.
Anil Sooklal, South Africa’s ambassador-at-large for Asia and the BRICS, disclosed that nations such as Iran, Argentina, Bangladesh, and Saudi Arabia have expressed their keenness to join the bloc.
This growing interest in BRICS reflects confidence in the group’s work over the past decade and a half, as it aims to reshape global politics and foster economic changes on a global scale.
Sooklal emphasized that the current global architecture perpetuates inequality and marginalizes developing countries, dominated by a few powerful forces.
BRICS seeks to establish a world where the voices of all nations are heard and represented.
The upcoming BRICS summit in Johannesburg, scheduled for August 22-24, has invited a total of 69 countries, including all African states.
French leader Emmanuel Macron has expressed a desire to attend, but a decision on the request is yet to be reached, as BRICS operates on a consensus basis.
Formally established in 2009, BRICS collectively accounts for 23 percent of global GDP and encompasses 42 percent of the world’s population, as per the summit’s website.