On Thursday, a South Africa’s top diplomat in charge of relations announced that more than 22 countries have expressed interest to join the BRICS alliance months before the next summit due to take place on Aug. 22-24.
Anil Sooklal together with some other officials from the department of foreign affairs were addressing journalists in Johannesburg city during the announcement. According to Sooklal, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Argentina, Algeria, Egypt, Iran, and Indonesia have formally applied for BRICS membership.
BRICS, originally named BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China), is an acronym for the world economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, which in 2010 had included the letter S for South Africa.
The BRICS were originally identified for the purpose of highlighting investment opportunities and had not been a formal intergovernmental organization. Since 2009, they have increasingly formed into a more cohesive geopolitical bloc, with their governments meeting annually at formal summits and coordinating multilateral policies.
The U.S. dollar stands at the crossroads of a new financial order as the BRICS alliance is looking to launch a new currency. The present objective of BRICS is to dethrone the U.S. dollar and make the new currency the world’s reserve status. BRICS is advancing in its mission to challenge the U.S. dollar by convincing developing countries to end reliance on the greenback.
The countries aim to gain BRICS membership and be a part of the decision-making to take on the U.S. dollar. The motive of the BRICS alliance is to create a new currency for global trade and sideline the U.S. dollar. Moreover, the White House pressing sanctions on developing nations is the main cause for BRICS to launch a new currency.
The BRICS are considered the foremost geopolitical rival to the G7 bloc of leading advanced economies, announcing competing initiatives such as the New Development Bank, the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, the BRICS payment system, the BRICS Joint Statistical Publication and the BRICS basket reserve currency. Since 2022, the group has sought to expand membership, with several developing countries expressing interest in joining.
Aside from the 22 countries that had formally asked to join, Sooklal said there was “an equal number of countries that have informally expressed interest in becoming BRICS members … (including) all the major global south countries”.
The number of countries willing for a BRICS inclusion is growing, indicating that the U.S. dollar is at risk. The move could tilt the global powers from the West to the East ushering in a new financial landscape.
The question of how far and fast to expand the club – centred around Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – is top of the agenda at the summit of nations seeking to offset to the perceived hegenomy of the U.S.-led West in global affairs. If BRICS inducts more countries, the alliance will become BRICS+ by the end of the year.
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