The five-member BRICS invited six more countries to join the alliance on Thursday (August 24),
The group owes its name to the initials of its five member states. They are Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. In its ongoing summit at Johannesburg, South Africa, it has invited Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, and Ethiopia. Their membership will begin in January.
Nearly two dozen countries had formally applied to join the group, but there had to be consensus among its existing five members for candidate countries to be admitted.
BRICS currently represents around 40% of the world’s population and more than a quarter of the world’s GDP.
With the additions, it will represent almost half the world’s population, and will include three of the world’s biggest oil producers, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iran.
The formation of BRICS in 2009 was driven by the idea that the four emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India, and China would be the future economic powerhouses of the world. South Africa was added a year later.