BRICS leaders agreed on Thursday to invite six countries, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to join the group
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced at a press conference during the 15th BRICS Summit, that the six countries’ membership will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
“We value the interests of other countries in building the partnership of BRICS,” said Ramaphosa.
Through the summit, BRICS has begun a new chapter in its efforts to bring about a world that is fair, inclusive and prosperous, he added.
Speaking at the press conference, Chinese President Xi Jinping called the BRICS expansion historic and a new starting point for BRICS cooperation.
President Xi said the expansion reflects the resolution of the BRICS countries to unite and cooperate with other developing countries, meets the expectations of the international community, and serves the common interests of emerging markets and developing countries.
He added that the expansion will also inject fresh vitality into the BRICS cooperation mechanism, and further strengthen the forces for world peace and development.
Calling it “a great moment for Ethiopia” as BRICS leaders endorsed the country’s entry into BRICS, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a statement that “Ethiopia stands ready to cooperate with all for an inclusive and prosperous global order.”
In a statement, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi pledged to work with other BRICS countries to “raise the voice of the Global South with regard to the various issues and development challenges we encounter in order to promote the developing countries’ rights and interests.”
“With more members, there could be more ideas and resources for the group,” said Joao Pedro Rosario Yabala, media delegate at the BRICS Summit. “Right now we are experiencing a historic moment.”
BRICS leaders met here from Aug. 22 to 24 to discuss issues including deepening BRICS cooperation and the group’s expansion.
Many emerging markets and developing nations are considering joining BRICS, and more than 20 countries have filed applications, said Director-General of the Department of International Economic Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Li Kexin here at a briefing.
It has demonstrated BRICS’s attraction and appeal, as well as the enthusiasm and willingness of emerging markets and developing countries to collaborate, Li added.
Under the theme of “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism,” this year’s summit was also focused on promoting the common interests of the Global South.