BRICS Attracts Growing Interest with 22 Nations Applying for Membership

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As the BRICS bloc gears up for its upcoming summit, South Africa revealed that twenty-two countries from across the world have formally applied to join the group, with more expressing interest. The BRICS alliance, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, was formed as a counterweight to Western economic dominance and has signaled its openness to expansion.

Anil Sooklal, South Africa's ambassador-at-large for Asia and the BRICS, disclosed that besides the formal applications, an equal number of countries have informally inquired about joining the BRICS bloc. Among those expressing interest are Iran, Argentina, Bangladesh, and Saudi Arabia.

The surge in interest reflects the growing confidence in the work that BRICS has championed over the past decade and a half. According to Sooklal, BRICS has become a powerful force seeking to reshape global politics and make significant economic changes worldwide.

He emphasized that the current global architecture perpetuates inequality, marginalizes developing nations, and is dominated by a handful of powerful countries. The goal of BRICS is to create a world where the voices of all member nations are heard and taken into consideration.

The summit, scheduled for August 22-24, will be hosted by South Africa in Johannesburg and will see the participation of a total of 69 countries, including all African states. French leader Emmanuel Macron has expressed a desire to attend the summit, but a final decision on his request is yet to be made.

Sooklal emphasized that BRICS operates on a consensus basis, meaning decisions are not made by South Africa alone, and any additional attendees must go through a thorough consultation process led by Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor.

Launched formally in 2009, BRICS has since become a significant player in the global economy, accounting for 23 percent of the world's GDP and representing 42 percent of the global population, as stated on the summit's official website.

The growing interest from countries seeking BRICS membership showcases the bloc's increasing influence and relevance on the world stage, fostering hope for a more inclusive and balanced global economic and political landscape.

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