In a significant development, the BRICS economic bloc, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, has announced the inclusion of six new full members: Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
This expansion is poised to bolster the bloc’s influence on the global stage, with member nations collectively accounting for an estimated 30 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Leading the pack is China, boasting a GDP of $19.3 trillion, followed by India with $3.7 trillion, Brazil at $2.1 trillion, Russia at $2 trillion, Saudi Arabia with $1 trillion, and Argentina at $0.6 trillion. The United Arab Emirates contributes a substantial $0.4 trillion, with South Africa and Egypt commanding $0.4 trillion each, Iran at $0.36 trillion, and Ethiopia rounding off the list with a GDP of $0.15 trillion.
This expansion ushers in a combined GDP of $30.51 trillion within the expanded BRICS bloc, signifying an impressive 30 percent of the global economy. The consensus decision, announced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, has set the effective membership date as January 1, 2024.
Ramaphosa emphasized that the expansion decision followed thorough deliberations on guiding principles, standards, criteria, and procedural aspects. He further indicated that this marks the initial phase of expansion, with more phases anticipated in the future. Acknowledging the keen interest of other nations in partnering with BRICS, Ramaphosa articulated plans to refine the BRICS partner-country model and compile a list of prospective partners.
Reports highlight that the economic might of the combined BRICS nations, in terms of purchasing power parity, surpasses that of the G7 nations. In nominal terms, these BRICS nations collectively contribute to 26 percent of the global GDP.
With a shared population of 3.2 billion, representing 41 percent of the global total, and an occupation of 26.7 percent of the world’s land surface, the expanded BRICS entity stands as a formidable force in the contemporary global landscape.
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