The BRICS group of developing nations, comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, is set to undergo its first expansion in over a decade. The annual summit held in Johannesburg concluded with the announcement that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Argentina have been invited to join the group. This expansion marks a historic moment and holds potential implications for the geopolitical landscape and global economic cooperation.

New Members Join BRICS

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (L) And Prime Minister Of India Narendra Modi (R) Look On During The 2023 Brics Summit (Source: Mint)
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (L) and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi (R) look on during the 2023 Summit (Source: Mint)

The inclusion of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Argentina in the group follows their expressed interest in becoming members. The expansion is slated to come into effect on January 1, 2024. This move underscores BRICS’ commitment to strengthening cooperation among developing nations and expanding its global influence.

Read more: India Backs BRICS Expansion: Prime Minister Modi’s Confirmation at Summit

Geopolitical and Economic Significance

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (Right) Welcoming South African President Cyril Ramaphosa At Al-Salam Palace In Jeddah (Source: Global Times)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (right) welcoming South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah (Source: Global Times)

The expansion brings notable geopolitical and economic implications. Saudi Arabia, a prominent oil exporter, now shares membership with China, the world’s largest oil importer. Additionally, Russia and Saudi Arabia, both part of OPEC+, find themselves in the same economic bloc, potentially influencing oil market dynamics. The alignment of countries facing tensions with the West raises questions about potential de-dollarization and the concept of a common currency within the group.

Read more: 20 Nations Eager to Join BRICS Alliance

Anticipating Anti-Western Bloc Speculation

G7 Hiroshima (Source: G7Hiroshima)
G7 Hiroshima (Source: g7hiroshima)

The inclusion of countries like Iran, which have openly confronted Western powers, could potentially shift the BRICS group toward becoming an anti-Western bloc. The geopolitical dynamics among the member nations, particularly Russia and China, whose relations with the West have been strained, raise the possibility of BRICS evolving into a coalition with its own global influence.

Read more: BRICS at a Crossroads: Shaping the Global Order


The BRICS group’s expansion to include Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Argentina signals a significant transformation in the organization’s composition and potential influence. As the geopolitical landscape evolves and these countries engage with established BRICS members, the world watches to see how this expansion will impact global economic cooperation, geopolitical alliances, and the pursuit of common goals among developing nations.

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