Global Markets

Egypt, Ethiopia UAE, Iran and Saudi Arabia to join BRICS

  • The BRICS group, originally comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, extended invitations to six more nations.
  • Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia and Egypt will join the bloc on January 1, 2024.
  • The group’s primary intention is to dominate the global market by increasing its economic influence.

South Africa’s envoy to the bloc has revealed that the BRICS group of emerging-market nations is about to witness a significant expansion. On January 1st, Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, and Egypt will join the ranks of this influential alliance. This development is set to double the membership of the BRICS group, marking a new era of collaboration and growth among these nations.

In August, the current members of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa extended an invitation to six other nations to join their group. This move aimed to bring together major energy producers and developing countries with significant energy consumption. Surprisingly, only Argentina declined the invitation, as their new President Javier Milei reversed his predecessor’s decision to join.

The five invitees took the invitation seriously and sent high-ranking representatives to a BRICS sherpa meeting in Durban, South Africa. Their active participation in the gathering clearly indicated their acceptance of the invitation, according to Anil Sooklal, Pretoria’s ambassador to the bloc.

To further solidify their membership, the new members will also send officials to a sherpa meeting in Moscow on Jan. 30.

The term “BRIC” was coined in 2001 by economist Jim O’Neill to highlight the robust economic growth rates in Brazil, Russia, India, and China. It was meant to provide an optimistic outlook for investors during a time of market pessimism following the 9/11 attacks. The group held its first leaders’ summit in 2009 and later invited South Africa to join, expanding its reach to another continent and adding the letter “S” to become BRICS.

The bloc has garnered significant interest, with approximately 30 countries expressing their desire to establish ties with BRICS, as stated by Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, has also expressed its intention to become a member of BRICS within the next two years, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs Yusuf Tuggar.

While the BRICS countries have experienced slower growth compared to their emerging-market counterparts in the past five years, India being the exception, they face additional challenges. Russia has been restricted by US-led sanctions, deterring foreign investors, and certain sectors in China, particularly technology companies, have also faced sanctions or potential investment bans.

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