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BRICS receives membership requests from 19 countries before annual summit

New Delhi: As the BRICS group of nations are preparing to hold the proposed annual summit in South Africa, nineteen countries have expressed an interest so far in joining the bloc.

The emerging markets bloc of BRICS nations will meet in Cape Town on June 2-3 to discuss its expansion, Anil Sooklal, South Africa’s ambassador to the group, said in an interview on Monday.

The group has only admitted only a single member of South Africa in 2010 since its formation as the BRIC in 2006.

“What will be discussed is the expansion of BRICS and the modalities of how this will happen. Thirteen countries have formally asked to join and another six have asked informally. We are getting applications to join every day,” Bloomberg quoted him as saying.

Read Also: Russia proposes to create BRICS geological platform for data sharing 

The foreign ministers from the five member states have all confirmed they will attend the discussions in June, Sooklal said.

The BRICS, which represents around one-fifth of the world’s economy, has emerged as a powerful new voice in the world. At present, the five members of BRICS contribute 16 per cent to world trade and around 24 per cent to global GDP.

The potential expansion of the bloc cannot be ruled out considering the systemic competition between the United States and China and the frequently changing scenario of world politics, experts said, adding that the demand to join the group will expand further as the great powers, as well as small powers, would seek alliances to secure their strategic interests amid growing tensions with the US over the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Read Also: South Africa supports Russian initiative to create BRICS geological platform for data sharing

In February this year, South Africa’s foreign minister Naledi Pandor said many countries across the globe are showing interest in joining the BRICS considering its value.

The significant interest in joining BRICS by many is a clear sign that BRICS has remained true to its values of strengthening multilateralism, driving reform as well as boosting global economic growth and stability,” Pandor said.

Watch: How BRICS Is Coming Together To Challenge the US Dollar | Vantage with Palki Sharma

BRICS, an economic bloc that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, was formed on June 16, 2009. South Africa joined BRICS in December 2010.

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