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BRICS Expansion To 10-Member Country Bloc Comes Into Effect

Updated: Jan 8

Africa | Rest Of The World January 2, 2024

Expansion of BRICS from 5 to 10 member counries global economic bloc that was announced by the bloc's at its 3rd annual summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August 2023, came into effect on January 1, 2024.

BRICS began as BRIC in 2009 with four founding member countries, namely, Brazil, Russia, India, and China. It adopted the name BRICS the following year in 2010 after South Africa joined the bloc.

The new 5 member countries of BRICS are Ethiopia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Iran. Argentina was also invited to join BRICS, but a new government there reportedly withdrew its BRICS membership application on December 30, 2023.

Photo: BRICS in 2024. Blue: Original 5 member countries. Green: New 5 member countries (Exclude Argentina)

While the name BRICS has all along connoted the initials of the 5 original member countries, i.e., Brazil, Russia,India, China, and South Africa, it seems that from January 1, 2024 onwards BRICS will imply a general name for the bloc with the initials having nothing to do with the names of its member countries

As of 2023, BRICS with its 5 member countries then, together had total GDP (nominal) of US$ 28 trillion that is equivalent to 27% of the global GDP (nominal).

As a 10-member country bloc, BRICS' share of the global GDP is likely to increase rapidly because majority of its member countries are among the world's richest in natural assets. The latter include, among others, energy natural resources like oil and gas; important minerals like cobalt, iron ore, uranium, and mangenese; as well as massive land surface with ample arable land, fresh water sources, etc.

Furthermore, BRICS' 10 member countries have been making incredible technological advancements in recent times.

For instance, China has built its own space station called Tiangong Space Station. Also, the country is said to have overtaken Japan as world's top motor vehicle producer, while it's electric vehicle manufacturing firm BYD is reportedly selling more electric vehicles than US' Tesla. At the same time, India recently became the first country in the world to land a spacecraft on the moon's south pole region.

Natural assets and advanced technological capacities are crucial ingredients/inputs for generation of income wealth. With the two economic ingredients, countries can generate capital goods, consumer goods, and medical goods for domestic consumption and export. As such, economies of countries with abundant natural assets and advanced technological capacities are more resilient at times of global crises like wars and pandemics, than those without them.


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