Nineteen countries expressed interest in joining the BRICS group as it prepares to hold an annual summit in South Africa. The emerging market bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will meet in Cape Town on June 2 and 3 to discuss its enlargement, said Anil Sooklal, South Africa’s ambassador to the group. during an interview in the city on Monday, April 24. What will be discussed is the expansion of the BRICS and the modalities of that expansion,” he said. “Thirteen countries have formally applied to join and six others have done so informally. We receive applications every day.”
China started the expansion conversation when it was president of the BRICS last year, as the world’s second-largest economy tries to strengthen its diplomatic influence to counter the domination of developed countries at the United Nations. The proposed enlargement has raised concern among other members that their influence will be diluted, especially if Beijing’s close allies are admitted. China’s gross domestic product is more than double the size of the other four BRICS members combined.
The Foreign Ministers of the five Member States have all confirmed that they will attend the discussions in June, Mr Sooklal said. In addition to its members, they will also discuss “hot spots”, including Sudan, where a ceasefire seems to have been imposed after 10 days of conflict.
Since its formation as a BRIC in 2006, the group has added only one new member: South Africa in 2010. Saudi Arabia and Iran are among the countries that have officially applied to join, Sooklal said in February. Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Egypt, Bahrain and Indonesia, as well as two countries in East Africa and one country in West Africa have expressed interest in joining us, which he did not say.