Over two dozen nations have applied for BRICS membership ahead of its upcoming annual summit, the representative of the hosting nation revealed in an interview. The organization which unites leading emerging economies will discuss its enlargement in early June.
BRICS to Talk Expansion as Number of Candidates Continues to Grow
The BRICS group of nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — are scheduled to meet in Cape Town on June 2 – 3. Enlargement will be in the focus of their talks, according to Anil Sooklal, South Africa’s ambassador to the group.
“What will be discussed is the expansion of BRICS and the modalities of how this will happen,” Sooklal said, quoted by Bloomberg. “Thirteen countries have formally asked to join and another six have asked informally,” he highlighted, stating:
We are getting applications to join every day.
The foreign ministers of the five member states will attend the discussions in June, Sooklal confirmed. Besides enlargement, the first diplomats will also discuss hot spots like Sudan, where fighting between the army and a paramilitary force rages on.
Four countries launched the organization as ‘BRIC’ in 2006 and it became ‘BRICS’ when South Africa was allowed to join in 2010. It remains the only admitted new member so far. Saudi Arabia and Iran are among the nations formally applying for membership, Sooklal unveiled earlier this year.
Conversations about the potential enlargement of BRICS were initiated by China last year. Observers say the People’s Republic is trying to increase its diplomatic influence in order to challenge the dominance of developed economies on the international scene including in formats such as the U.N.
However, the proposed expansion has been met with some concern by other BRICS members, fearing their own influence will be diminished if the organization accepts Beijing’s close allies, the report notes.
China is the world’s second-largest economy with a gross domestic product twice as big as the combined GDP of the four other nations forming the bloc at the moment.
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