BRICS is looked upon as an important grouping bringing together the major emerging economies of the world
Keen to play a bigger role on the global stage, the BRICS group of major emerging economies has decided to take in Argentina, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates as new members.

The BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - have agreed to make these six countries full members from January 1, 2024.

The decision was announced during the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on Thursday (August 24, 2023) after detailed discussions on the criteria for deciding on new membership. Several countries had earlier expressed interest in joining the BRICS grouping.

During discussions at the BRICS Leaders' Retreat in Johannesburg on August 22, 2023, it was India who stepped in and steered discussions to finalise the process of choosing new members for the group.

India took the lead in forging a consensus on the membership criteria and the selection of new members, said people familiar with the developments. "Our efforts were guided by our objective to incorporate our Strategic Partners as new members," one of them said.

Speaking at Plenary Session 1 of the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on Wednesday (August 23, 2023), Prime Minister Modi said India fully supports the expansion of the BRICS membership. He added that India "welcomes moving forward with consensus in this".

Welcoming the new members on Thursday, Prime Minister Modi said BRICS would become stronger as an organization with the new members joining. The group's collective efforts would also get new strength with this development, he added. Prime Minister Modi expressed happiness that teams of the BRICS membership states had been able to reach a consensus on the guiding principles foe expansion as well as standards, criteria, and procedures.

According to Prime Minister Modi, the expansion and modernization of BRICS was a signal that all institutions in the world need to adapt to the changing times. The expansion of BRICS can set an example for the reform of other global institutions that came up in the 20th century, he said, in an apparent reference to the United Nations.

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, and China 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.

The 1st BRIC summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia on June 16, 2009.

BRIC 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. South Africa attended the 3rd BRICS Summit in Sanya, China on April 14, 2011.

BRICS is looked upon as an important grouping bringing together the major emerging economies from the world, comprising over 40% of the world population, having 24% of the world GDP and over 16% share in the world trade. BRICS countries 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.