Including 3 Arab countries. Media reveals names of new BRICS members

The correspondent of the Brazilian website UOL in Geneva, Jamil Chad, revealed the names of the countries that will accept their membership in the BRICS group, according to a draft closing statement of the group seen.

The statement, according to Chad, listed the names of Argentina, Egypt, Iran, the UAE and Saudi Arabia as new members of the group. He added that the selection of these countries for membership of the group took into account geographical balance.

Many countries expressed interest in joining the BRICS group, with the 15th Emerging Economies Summit (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

More than 20 countries have applied to join the group, including Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Bangladesh, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and Vietnam. Others such as Mexico, Pakistan and Turkey expressed interest in membership.

BRICS countries account for 23% of global GDP and 42% of the world’s population, but the group is heterogeneous: the five countries, distributed on 4 continents, have economies with uneven growth.

Given the diversity of countries aspiring to join the group, “it’s hard to see what criteria for potential expansion are,” explained John Strimlow, a specialist in international relations at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

The entry of new countries into the group could change the group’s geopolitical balances, observers say. BRICS countries share a demand for a multipolar global economic and political balance.

Among the countries vying for membership are traditionally unbiased countries, such as Indonesia and Ethiopia. But there are also countries that are openly hostile to the United States and its allies, such as Iran and Venezuela.

“If Iran joins BRICS, that will significantly change the political scope of the group,” said Cobos van Staden, a South African researcher specializing in China-African relations just as it would be if Saudi Arabia joined it.

The new development bank set up by BRICS Group in 2015 with the aim of offering an option other than the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, before new members, was Bangladesh, the UAE and Egypt. Uruguay is supposed to soon become part of it.