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Why 40+ Countries Want to Join BRICS

Thursday, August 24, 2023.

Notably, the group accounts for almost 31.5% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and functions as a check on Western geopolitical influence.

BRICS—a coalition of large emerging economies comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—reportedly aims to expand nearly 22 years after its inception. Around 40 nations, including Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have expressed interest in joining the group in order to diversify their economies and strengthen ties with BRICS members. Notably, the group accounts for almost 31.5% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and functions as a check on Western geopolitical influence.


Countries who want to join BRICS


South Africa's BRICS ambassador, Anil Sooklal, confirmed that Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, Argentina, Cuba, Nigeria, Venezuela, Thailand, and Vietnam were among the countries seeking to join the BRICS collective, Bloomberg reported. Separately, he said 22 countries have formally approached BRICS countries to become full members."There's an equal number of countries that have been informally asking about becoming BRICS members," Sooklal said.


Member nations divided on expansion plans


China and Russia are enthusiastic about expanding BRICS membership to boost their global influence.However, India and Brazil remain skeptical. India fears that their influence will be diluted and that the bloc will become China-dominated.Whereas Brazil argued that new members should be admitted transparently and based on a consensus among existing members.


Reasons for countries wanting to join BRICS


According to geopolitical analysts, BRICS is a globally influential bloc, with its member nations outperforming the Group of Seven (G7).The five existing BRICS countries account for almost 31.5% of global GDP, compared to 30.7% for the G7.Furthermore, with 3.14 billion people, BRICS nations account for 41% of the world's population.This obviously demonstrates the BRICS countries' power and importance, according to The Economist, adding that they are also considered a powerful counterweight to Western influence.


New Development Bank's growing popularity, influence


The New Development Bank (NDB), founded by BRICS in 2014, is another reason why countries are expressing a strong wish to join BRICS.Since its founding, the bank has financed nearly 100 projects worth $34 billion in core infrastructure sectors.This financing has attracted countries seeking alternative credit sources and serves as a counterweight to Western-dominated financial institutions like the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF).


Expansion hurdles and BRICS' future prospects


Despite the interest of many countries in joining BRICS, expansion remains uncertain due to differing opinions among current members.India and Brazil's concerns about transparency and maintaining a balanced approach may hinder the bloc's growth.The future of BRICS expansion will depend on finding common ground among its members and ensuring that the organization remains cohesive and effective.


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