Johannesburg – The 15th BRICS Summit, to be held in South Africa’s Johannesburg on Tuesday, is expected to draw global attention as the group of emerging economies seeks to assert its influence on the world stage.
Analysts say the summit will be closely watched for signs of how BRICS plans to respond to the growing challenges facing the global economy, such as rising inflation and food insecurity. The bloc is also expected to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation on issues such as climate change and digital transformation.
BRICS’ Growing Influence
BRICS has become increasingly influential in recent years, as its members have emerged as major players in the global economy. The bloc’s combined GDP is now larger than that of the G7 according to the IMF estimates, and its population makes up nearly half of the world’s total.
As per data released earlier this year from Acorn Macro Consulting, a British economic research firm, the BRICS group makes up 41% of the global population and accounts for 16% of world trade. The five BRICS countries now contribute about a quarter of the global GDP.
This growing influence has led to increased interest in BRICS membership. So far, 22 countries have formally applied to join the group.
“There’s an equal number of countries that have been informally asking about becoming BRICS members,” said South Africa’s BRICS Sherpa Anil Sooklal.
BRICS as a Force for Fairer Global Governance
BRICS members have also expressed their desire to use the group as a force for fairer global governance. They have criticized the dominance of Western countries in international institutions and called for a more inclusive approach to decision-making.
The Johannesburg summit is likely to be a platform for BRICS to further promote its vision for a more just and equitable world order.
In the eyes of analysts, the BRICS 2023 summit will be a test of the bloc’s ability to deliver on its promises. If the group can successfully address the challenges facing the global economy, it will be seen as a major force for change.
Russia’s foreign intelligence chief, Sergey Naryshkin, said that BRICS has “great potential in terms of creating the architecture of international relations.”
“BRICS is a unique platform for dialogue and cooperation between the world’s leading emerging economies,” Naryshkin said. “The expansion of the group would only strengthen its potential.”
In an opinion piece published in June, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, echoed Naryshkin’s comments, saying that more countries joining BRICS would provide “a compelling opportunity for growth and cooperation.”
“The five BRICS nations are considering expanding the grouping by forging closer links across many areas of both economy and civil society,” Al Nahyan wrote. “This is born of a long-held desire to increase the representation of developing nations in appropriately responding to shared global challenges.”
The BRICS countries are Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The group was founded in 2006 as a forum for economic cooperation, but it has since become increasingly involved in global affairs.
In recent years, BRICS has called for a more just and equitable international order, and it has criticized the dominance of Western countries in international institutions.
The expansion of BRICS would further solidify the group’s position as a major player in global affairs. It would also give developing countries a greater voice in international decision-making.
The expansion of BRICS is likely to be a hot topic of discussion at the upcoming summit.