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Six Countries Invited To Join BRICS Group In 2024

Leaders expect the new members to come on board in January 2024

Six new nations have been invited to join the BRICS group, the initials for which represent the names of the founding countries of the club: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and later South Africa.

The concept for the organization was first created in 2001 by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill, who predicted that the countries would become major global players by the year 2050. The network was founded in 2009 (South Africa joined in 2010) in order to challenge the world order that has been dominated by the U.S. and its Western allies.

As The Washington Post reports, six nations will join the group’s ranks next year: Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Leaders of the current BRICS group issued statements cited by CNN, welcoming the new members.

“I would like to congratulate the new members who will work in a full-scale format next year,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “And I would like to assure all our colleagues that we will continue the work that we started today on expanding the influence of BRICS in the world.”

China’s President Xi Jinping said the addition will be “historic,” adding that “[it will] inject new impetus into the BRICS cooperation mechanism and further strengthen the power of world peace and development.”

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said, “The membership will take effect from the first of January, 2024.”

Amid the announcement, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva proposed BRICS nations create a common currency for trade and investment between each other, once again stoking fears that the alliance could attempt to dislodge the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

Putin said, “De-dollarisation is gaining momentum. We co-operate on the principles of equality, partnership support, and respect for each other’s interests, and this is the essence of the future-oriented strategic course of our association, a course that meets the aspirations of the main part of the world community, the so-called global majority.”

Experts, however, are skeptical of global de-dollarization efforts.

“Creating the BRICS currency will require a set of institutions,” Shirley Ze Yu, a senior visiting fellow at the London School of Economics, told Al Jazeera. “Institutional creation requires a common set of standards and underpinning values. These are very difficult to achieve, although not impossible.”

Danny Bradlow, a professor with the Centre for Advancement of Scholarship at the University of Pretoria, agreed, telling the outlet, “The idea of the BRICS creating an alternative to the dollar seems completely fanciful and unrealistic.”

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