BRICS is an important grouping bringing together the major emerging economies from the world

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has confirmed his participation in the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, from August 22-24, 2023. The confirmation came during a telephone conversation with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday (August 3, 2023) evening.

The Summit will bring together all the five BRICS members - Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa - although Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to attend virtually.

"President Ramaphosa invited PM for the BRICS Summit being hosted by South Africa on August 22-24, 2023 and briefed him on the preparations for the same. PM accepted the invitation and conveyed that he looked forward to his visit to Johannesburg to participate in the Summit," the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.

"Pleased to speak with President @CyrilRamaphosa. Reviewed progress in bilateral cooperation as we celebrate 30th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. Look forward to participating in the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg later this month," Prime Minister Modi tweeted after the phone call.

According to the PMO, the two leaders positively assessed the progress in bilateral cooperation, including in the context of the thirtieth anniversary of establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations being celebrated in 2023. They also exchanged views on a number of regional and global issues of mutual interest.

President Ramaphosa conveyed his full support to India’s initiatives as part of its ongoing G20 Presidency and said that he looked forward to visiting India to attend the G20 Summit, the PMO added.

Recent weeks have seen talk about expansion of the BRICS grouping to include more members from across the globe. A few media reports have suggested that India has reservations about a possible expansion.

India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has, however, dismissed this as "baseless speculation" and said that BRICS should be expanded through “full consultation and consensus” among the five members members.

"As mandated by the leaders last year, BRICS members are internally discussing the guiding principles, the standards, criteria, and procedures for BRICS expansion process on the basis of full consultation and consensus," MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in response to questions regarding this at the weekly media briefing in New Delhi on Thursday.

"As our External Affairs Minister had mentioned, we are approaching this with an open mind and a positive outlook. We have seen some baseless speculation, and you also referred some of it to that, that India has reservations against expansion. This is simply not true," Bagchi maintained.

BRICS is an important grouping bringing together the major emerging economies from the world. The five member nations have been the main engines of global economic growth over the years. Over a period of time, BRICS countries have come together to deliberate on important issues under the three pillars of political and security, economic and financial and cultural and people to people exchanges.

The leaders of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries met for the first time in St. Petersburg, Russia, on the margins of the G8 Outreach Summit in July 2006. In September 2006, the group was formalised as BRIC during the 1st BRIC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which met on the sidelines of the General Debate of the UN Assembly in New York City. After a series of high level meetings, the 1st BRIC summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia on 16 June 2009.

The group was renamed as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) after South Africa was accepted as a full member at the BRIC Foreign Ministers’ meeting in New York in September 2010.