BRICS ranks swell as five more states join the bloc.

BRICS ranks swell as five more states join the bloc.

Tuesday, Saudi state television announced that the kingdom has formally become a member of the BRICS bloc. BRICS ranks swell as five more states join the bloc.

The BRICS alliance, previously composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, was expected to double as Saudi Arabia became one of five new members, joining Egypt, Iran, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Ethiopia.

Amid geopolitical tensions between the United States and China and the expansion of Chinese influence within the kingdom, Saudi Arabia has decided to intervene.

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Earlier, the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia stated that the kingdom would examine the details and make “the appropriate decision” before the proposed January 1 joining date. Prince Faisal bin Farhan had previously characterized the BRICS group as “a vital and advantageous conduit” for bolstering economic cooperation.

On Monday, the BRICS memberships of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and Ethiopia became formally operational.

Aware that Washington is less committed to the security of the Gulf region than in the past, Saudi Arabia has increasingly pursued its course of action despite maintaining strong ties with the United States.

As the largest purchaser of oil by Saudi Arabia, China has advocated for the expansion of the BRICS to serve as a counterbalance to the West.

The global south

The potential for expansion may enhance the organization’s stated goal of emerging as a dominant force in the Global South. However, Argentina announced in November that it would decline an invitation to become a member.

CGTN reported that the six nations were extended invitations to comprise the group in August 2023 after the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

BRICS, which was initially composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, has since expanded to include five additional members: Egypt, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Ethiopia. These five countries have formally become full-fledged members of the bloc. BRICS is home to over 30 percent of the global gross domestic product and over 40 percent of the world’s population.

In recent years, the platform that facilitates collaboration between developing countries and emergent markets has been inundated with a substantial number of membership requests.

“In light of the ongoing geopolitical and economic challenges confronting the global economy, the inclusion of Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the BRICS multilateral bloc augurs exceptionally well,” said Ullas Rao, assistant professor of finance at Edinburgh Business School of Heriot-Watt University in Dubai.

“Among the wealthiest nations per capita and housing the largest sovereign wealth funds, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates generate enormous growth opportunities through trade, investments, and commerce.”

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