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BRICS Welcomes New Members: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Iran, and Ethiopia

In a significant development on January 1, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and Ethiopia officially joined the BRICS group, expanding its membership to ten nations. The expansion, initially set to occur during the 15th BRICS summit in August 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa, aims to enhance the group’s influence on the global stage. Argentina, initially invited, opted out in December.

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BRICS Welcomes New Members: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Iran, and Ethiopia

BRICS Welcomes Five New Members in Global Expansion

  1. Membership Expansion: On January 1, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and Ethiopia officially joined the BRICS group, doubling its members. Originally slated for August 2023 in Johannesburg, the expansion aims to bolster the group’s global influence.

  2. Increased Global Clout: The newly enlarged BRICS now boasts a combined population of 3.5 billion and an economy exceeding $28.5tn, constituting around 28% of the global economy. While this growth signals a potential geopolitical shift, analysts express uncertainty over its impact on decision-making and overall group dynamics.

Challenges and Opportunities

  • Divergent Perspectives: Some experts caution that internal differences may weaken BRICS’ decision-making capabilities. However, the member nations aspire to leverage the expanded group for greater representation of emerging economies and reduced reliance on the US dollar.

  • Common Currency Proposal: Brazilian President’s call for a common currency within BRICS last August underscores the group’s ambition for increased economic collaboration. Russia, now holding the BRICS presidency, aims to enhance the group’s role in the international financial system, fostering the integration of new participants in its activities.

Russia’s Presidency

Under the motto “Strengthening Multilateralism for Equitable Global Development and Security,” Russia’s year-long presidency seeks to reinforce BRICS’ standing, culminating in the annual summit in Kazan in October. President Vladimir Putin emphasizes efforts to harmoniously integrate new members, showcasing BRICS’ commitment to equitable global development.

 

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