BRICS Expansion: BRICS (initially BRIC) was constituted in 2009 to be a counterweight to the growing Western dominance by forums such as G-7 and the World Bank. It comprises of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa which represent around a quarter of the world’s economy.
The group is home to 41% of the world population, around 24% of the total world GDP, and a massive 16% share in the world trade.
Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia had been invited to join the BRICS group and their membershipwould begin in January after a formal acceptance of the invitation, the group announced at its Johannesburg summit.
The group stated that the expansion was done to bring diversity to the world’s power structure and the increasing polarization. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the growing tensions between China and the US also seemed to have enhanced the polarization of power, the group remarked.
It is worth noting that recently the inclusion of Tehran also raised the brows of international political experts, who questioned the pressure created by Russia and China to include Tehran which has antagonistic relations with the US over other members of the group like India, Brazil, and South Africa.
The group also failed to deliver on some of the key long-stated goalssuch as a common BRICS currency against the dominant US dollar. Even on issues such as expansion, the members of the closely knit group had divergent views, where several leaders were alerted against the return of the Cold War era.
Although the inclusion of Iran could have managed to gather some eyebrows from the West, South Africa sought to show that the group was not hostile to the global West.
BRICS is not anti-west and it needs to change with times, said a South African representative in a statement to the reporters. Indian PM, Narendra Modi said on Thursday that the expansion of the group was “a message that all institutions in the world need to mold themselves according to the changing times.”