On January 1, 2024, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and Ethiopia officially became members of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) group. Experts and scholars from the newly added BRICS members believe that joining the BRICS cooperation mechanism will help each country explore its potential and promote economic development through cooperation, while injecting new vitality into the BRICS cooperation mechanism.
In 2006, the foreign ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, and China held their first meeting during the United Nations General Assembly, marking the beginning of BRIC cooperation. In June 2009, the BRIC leaders held their first summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia, which elevated the BRIC cooperation to a summit level. In 2011, South Africa officially joined the BRIC group, expanding it to five countries with the English acronym changed to BRICS.
In September 2017, the 9th BRICS Summit was held in Xiamen, China. China proposed the “BRICS Plus” cooperation mechanism, which opens the door for emerging markets and developing countries to participate in BRICS cooperation, expanding the influence of BRICS beyond the five member countries and becoming a constructive force in promoting global economic growth, improving global governance, and democratizing international relations.
On June 23, 2022, President Xi Jinping presided over the 14th BRICS Summit via video conference in Beijing. The leaders of the five countries agreed to expand “BRICS Plus” cooperation at multiple levels, in a wider range of areas, and on a larger scale. The aim is to actively promote the BRICS expansion process, push the BRICS mechanism to keep pace with the times, enhance its quality and effectiveness, and further into the realm of reality.
The BRICS countries adhere to true multilateralism, maintaining the international system with the United Nations at its core. They also support and strengthen the multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization as its core.
The addition of these five countries as formal members of BRICS is expected to bring about profound economic cooperation in the future, adding impetus to the economies of these five countries and other BRICS countries.
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