BRICS Latest: Bloc Invites New Members, Plans Two-Tier System

BRICS leaders invited top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and five other countries including Iran to join their bloc in a push to expand its global influence.

(Bloomberg) — BRICS leaders invited top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and five other countries including Iran to join their bloc in a push to expand its global influence.  

Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and United Arab Emirates will become full members on Jan. 1, said South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa in a joint press conference of the BRICS leaders on Thursday at their annual summit in Johannesburg. The enlisting of new members was agreed by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It will be the first expansion since 2010. 

An expansion of the group of emerging market powers could help boost its global heft and counter the dominance of the Group of Seven. The enlargement will see BRICS gross domestic product rise to 36% of global GDP at purchasing power parity and 46% of the world’s population, said Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

China and India Need to Sort Out Issues: Official (4:00 p.m.)

China and India need to sort out their differences, a Chinese official told a BRICS briefing, describing the two major Asian countries as trying to address their issues on border and trade. 

“We are two countries with huge population and economic sizes, we have to have good terms, maybe not today but tomorrow — but we will do it in the long-term,” said Li Kexin, Director-General of the Department of International Economic Affairs at China’s Foreign Ministry. 

BRICS to Have Two-Tiered Membership (1:51 p.m.)

BRICS plans to have a two-tired membership system, Anil Sooklal, South Africa’s ambassador to the bloc said in an interview. The group will have full members and partners, he said.

Saudi Arabia Cites Ability to Steady Energy Market (12:48 p.m.)

Saudi Arabia has “efficient tools and a responsible role to stabilize the energy market,” the kingdom’s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan said at the BRICS summit. 

He told the audience that his nation looks forward to further developing economic and financial relations and emphasized cooperation to tackle common challenges.

UN Urges Renewal of Multilateralism at BRICS (12:06 p.m.)

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged BRICS leaders to restore faith in multilateralism and invoked the specter of the First World War for failing to do so.

“I have come to Johannesburg with a simple message: in a fracturing world with overwhelming crises, there is simply no alternative to cooperation,” he told the summit. “We cannot afford a world with a divided global economy and financial system; with diverging strategies on technology including artificial intelligence; and with conflicting security frameworks.”

Speaking before the heads of state of dozens of nations in the Global South, Guterres said developed countries must “finally keep their promises” to those that are still developing. “As a matter of justice, Africa must be considered a priority in all these efforts,” he said.

China’s Xi Praises “Historic” Expansion (10:10 a.m.)

Chinese President Xi Jinping said during the joint press conference of BRICS leaders that expansion of the group is historic and a new starting point for cooperation among developing nations that shows its determination to “unite and cooperate with” other developing nations.

–With assistance from Paul Vecchiatto, Amogelang Mbatha, Kateryna Kadabashy, Li Liu, Arijit Ghosh, Jennifer Zabasajja and Timothy Rangongo.

More stories like this are available on

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.