The BRICS nations, consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, are currently working on developing guidelines for countries interested in joining the economic bloc. South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, recently made this announcement, stating that the BRICS nations are receiving a lot of interest from other countries and are currently working on concepts to respond to this interest. The final guidelines are expected to be presented at the conclusion of the BRICS summit.
The BRICS countries have been making an effort to expand their global influence, and as of April, 13 countries had already formally applied to join the bloc, with six others expressing informal interest. Countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran have expressed an interest in joining the economic bloc.
Fostering Global Cooperation
Pandor emphasized the importance of establishing influential alliances that collaborate with the United Nations to drive an inclusive and forward-looking international development agenda. The BRICS nations have the potential to fulfill this transformative role. Many countries are looking for a multipolar forum that is modern, inclusive, and focused on the common good, and the growing interest in the alliance reflects this desire.
South Africa’s partnership with BRICS has resulted in tangible benefits across multiple sectors, including trade and funding for infrastructure projects. South Africa’s total trade with BRICS countries has increased from $25 billion in 2017 to $36 billion in 2021, and the country has secured more than $5 billion in funding from the group’s New Development Bank for key infrastructure projects in renewable energy, water, and other sectors.
In addition, the BRICS group is working on creating a common currency that will help its members reduce reliance on the U.S. dollar. The topic is expected to be discussed at the BRICS leaders’ summit in August.