The anti-Western economic alliance just expanded by 383 million people:
Six nations will become full-fledged members of the BRICS group of nations starting January 2024, after their candidacies were approved by leaders of the current member states, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced. The expansion topped the agenda of the summit in Johannesburg this week.
Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates were welcomed as new members on Thursday. The bloc currently consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
Ethiopia really stands out as a rather bizarre choice, until one takes into account that it is the 14th most populous state on Earth, ahead of both Vietnam and Turkey, two states that I was expecting to join BRICS. Argentina is also a little odd, as I would have expected Venezuela, with its oil riches, to join first, but it’s possible that its problems with foreign interference into its elections and its government might have prevented it from applying to the new organization.
Anyhow, what this indicates is that BRICS is as interested in raw numbers as it is in oil or technological advancement. So Pakistan, Indonesia, Nigeria, and perhaps even Bangladesh would appear to be on the short list, although conflict with India might keep Pakistan out and Nigeria appears to be among the African nations most firmly attached to the G7 states.