More than 40 countries willing to join BRICS – official

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According to Anil Sooklal, South Africa’s ambassador-at-large responsible for relations with the economic alliance and Asian countries, more than 40 countries have expressed interest in joining BRICS.

The ambassador told reporters in Johannesburg on Thursday that 22 nations had formally requested to join the club, while “an equal number” of states “have been informally asking about becoming BRICS members.”

Sooklal defined BRICS as a “inclusive” group that has always been open to interaction with the greater global community in an interview with RT on Sunday. Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa currently make up the group, which accounts for more than 40% of the global population and about a quarter of global GDP.

According to Sooklal, BRICS makes no distinction between the Global North and the Global South and is willing to talk to any country that “shares the same vision for a more inclusive and equitable global order in which we do not marginalize large parts of the world,” which includes many developing countries.

The ambassador went on to say that, although the UN has yet to implement substantial reforms that would offer emerging countries a stronger voice, BRICS has forged its own course to address the situation.

However, he emphasized that the bloc “does not seek to become a dominant economic force,” but rather “a major influence in an inclusive manner to work for change.”

“We don’t want a world with one or two global hegemons,” he added, stressing that such a power distribution divides the global community.

Sooklal previously told media that Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates were among the countries interested in joining the union.

This year’s BRICS annual summit will be held in Johannesburg from August 22-24, with President Cyril Ramaphosa sending invites to over 70 global leaders.