BRICS officially expanded Monday, with Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates joining the collective, with Argentina declining their invitation, raising the collective to 10 member states with more potentially on the way in the future.
What is BRICS?
BRICS(Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is a collection of nations that come together for discussions on how to enhance cooperation on various economic, political and strategic issues.
The new collection of nations encompasses about 30% of the world’s land surface and 45% of the global population. BRICS makes up 25.77% of the world’s GDP, with the new members adding another 3.22%.
BRICS is a rival to the G7, a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States (and the EU but not a proper member).
Who BRICS decided to invite to join the collective was not random.
Brazilian President Lula Da Silva had pushed for Argentina to be invited. However, the election of President Javier Milei, a self-proclaimed “Anrcho-Capitalist,” has seen the invitation declined.
Egypt has close ties with Russia and India, while Iran and Russia have found ground on the shared sanctions, led by the United States, on their respective nations.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been looking to establish themselves as major powers in the world, primarily through their abundance of oil and control of the oil market.
Ethiophia’s inclusion is a part of China’s belief in the importance of Ethiopia in African peace and security. China has worked to improve developing nations to expand their influence in the world through its Belt and Road Initiative. This has led to billions in direct investment and trade with Ethiopia.
What does this mean for the world?
The expansion of BRICS will continue to shift the balance of global power away from the West, challenging institutions and agendas. For the nations within BRICS, it means better trade, development, stability and cooperation among nation-states.
This expansion will increase the global south’s role in the international community, a major development from the decades of near silence caused by exclusion rather than inability.
More nations have put forward applications to join BRICS, with some notable names being Pakistan, Senegal, Cuba and Vietnam. Other nations have expressed interest in joining, with Mexico and Türkiye being the biggest nations interested.