The leaders of the BRICS group of emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have agreed on a set of guidelines and principles for considering new members, South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said on Wednesday.
The announcement came at the end of a three-day summit in Johannesburg, where the BRICS leaders discussed various issues such as trade, security, health and climate change. The Brics expansion formation paves the way to promote cooperation and development among the five countries and the wider “Global South”.
According to Pandor, the agreement on expansion paves the way for dozens of interested candidate nations to make their case for joining the bloc, which represents about 40% of the world’s population and a quarter of global GDP. She said that the bloc’s leaders would make a more detailed announcement on expansion before the summit concludes on Thursday.
More than 40 countries have expressed interest in joining BRICS, and 22 – according to South African officials. The potential candidates are motivated by a desire to have a greater voice in global affairs and to benefit from the BRICS initiatives such as the New Development Bank, which provides financing for infrastructure and sustainable development projects.
BRICS leaders have expressed their commitment to expanding the group and enhancing its role in global governance. They have also reaffirmed their support for multilateralism, free trade and peaceful resolution of disputes. They have pledged to work together to address common challenges such as poverty, inequality, terrorism and climate change.