Enlargement of the BRICS group to allow it to increase its influence in the world
It will give the grouping significant geostrategic and geo-economic advantages
The 15th BRICS summit held in Johannesburg was attended by 60 developing countries from the global South as well as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The summit saw a major development as six countries were invited to join as full members of the group – Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With the addition of new members, the BRICS group intends to increase its influence on the world stage.
The summit marked an important milestone in the development of the BRICS group, whose influence on the world stage has multiplied over the past 15 years. This is evidenced not only by the entry of six potential new members, but also by the fact that they had to be chosen from 23 applicants who had submitted formal applications for membership. In addition, more than 40 countries have expressed interest in joining the group.
Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed the BRICS expansion, calling it historic. He said it shows the BRICS countries’ desire for unity in cooperation with all developing countries. “The enlargement is also a new starting point for BRICS. It will give new impetus to the BRICS cooperation mechanism,” he said. The Chinese leader urged all to join hands to write a new chapter in the history of emerging markets and developing nations.
With the new members, the BRICS group will account for 30 per cent of the world’s GDP, 46 per cent of the world’s population, about 54 per cent of the population of developing countries and 43 per cent of the world’s total oil production, according to analysts. This gives the BRICS group significant geostrategic and geo-economic advantages, allowing it to have a real impact on solving global problems in the field of international trade, climate change and development finance, as reported by African Times, a partner of TV BRICS.
Although the BRICS group still lacks a permanent secretariat to coordinate its activities, as it has evolved over the past decade and a half, it has moved towards greater institutionalisation. The rotation system of the BRICS chairperson is clearly defined and the responsibilities of the chairperson are spelt out to avoid misunderstandings. In the absence of a permanent secretariat, the work of the group is coordinated by BRICS Sherpas in each country.
New structures such as the BRICS New Development Bank, headquartered in Shanghai, and the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement, which are responsible for development lending and economic crisis management, respectively, have emerged. Other structures that have emerged under the auspices of the five include the BRICS Business Council, the BRICS Parliamentary Forum, the BRICS Council of Expert Centres, the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance, and so on.
Although the influence of these structures on decision-making is still minimal, their presence indicates that in the future BRICS will not be an exclusively governmental structure.