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BRICS Global Economic Alliance Attracts Interest from 44 Countries

The global economic alliance known as BRICS is witnessing a surge in interest from countries eager to join its ranks. According to Anlil Sooklal, South Africa’s top diplomat responsible for BRICS relations, 22 countries have already formally requested membership, while an equal number have expressed informal interest. This includes major global south countries seeking to align with the group’s objectives.

Currently consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, BRICS is grappling with expanding its coalition. The upcoming summit will focus on the extent and pace of this expansion as interested entities like Argentina, Iran, and Saudi Arabia seek to join the alliance.

Over the past year, Sooklal and other group members have been diligently working on prioritizing and organizing the expansion effort. This month, BRICS leaders will gather to discuss the details of welcoming new countries into their fold.

Next week, a special sherpa meeting will take place in Durban, South Africa, to finalize the expansion report, which will then be transmitted to ministers. By the end of July, South Africa will convene a virtual meeting of foreign affairs ministers to present recommendations for the leaders’ consideration during the summit in August.

BRICS was initially established as an alternative to the US dollar hegemony, seeking to create its financial system. The group is empowered, in part, by its New Development Bank (NDB), which provides support for member nations’ public and private projects through loans, equity participation, and other economic tactics.

Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s Foreign Affairs Minister, expressed encouragement at the growth and sustainability of the NDB. The bank is vital in helping new members establish themselves on the global economic stage, historically dominated by the US and Western allies. By providing financing for infrastructure needs, supporting the unlocking of regional value chains, and localizing productive capacities, the NDB proves to be a valuable asset for member countries.

As BRICS leaders deliberate on the expansion and welcome new countries, the alliance’s influence and impact on the global economic landscape are poised to increase significantly. With the potential inclusion of major players from the global south, BRICS is set to diversify its reach further and assert itself as a force to be reckoned with in the international economic arena.


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