Expectations run high as emerging economies gear up for BRICS summit

The 15th BRICS Summit, to be held in South Africa's Johannesburg next week, has received a lot of media attention in the months leading up to the event

The 15th BRICS Summit, to be held in South Africa's Johannesburg next week, has received a lot of media attention in the months leading up to the event, underscoring the growing influence of BRICS over the past years.

Analysts believe what happens at Johannesburg will be watched with heightened interest, as the voice of the Global South, represented by major emerging economies in BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has become increasingly important in addressing global challenges at a time of profound geopolitical changes, and the group has demonstrated great potential to improve the architecture of international relations.

Expectations are high about the outcome of the summit as its participants are expected to discuss the accelerated use of local currencies, strengthened cooperation to fast-track mutual growth, and the promotion of inclusive multilateralism, among other issues of common concern.


As per data released earlier this year from Acorn Macro Consulting, a British economic research firm, the BRICS group makes up 41 percent of the global population and accounts for 16 percent of world trade. The five BRICS countries now contribute about a quarter of the global GDP.

With its growing economic presence on the global stage and as one of the most important platforms for win-win cooperation among emerging economies and developing countries, BRICS is becoming increasingly attractive.

"Twenty-two countries have formally approached BRICS countries to become full members. There's an equal number of countries that have been informally asking about becoming BRICS members," said South Africa's BRICS Sherpa Anil Sooklal.

In an opinion piece published on the website of Dubai-based commercial magazine Arabian Business in June, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said more countries joining BRICS would provide "a compelling opportunity for growth and cooperation."

In a column published on the website of Dubai-based English daily Gulf News recently, Osama Al Sharif, a journalist and political commentator based in the Jordanian capital Amman, said the increasing number of applicants joining BRICS has indicated "a sense of urgency by countries to address some of these challenges and strengthen partnerships away from Western influence."


BRICS has "great potential in terms of creating the architecture of international relations," Russia's foreign intelligence chief Sergey Naryshkin was quoted as saying by Türkiye's semi-official Anadolu Agency at the 11th Moscow Conference on International Security on Tuesday.

"The five BRICS nations are considering expanding the grouping by forging closer links across many areas of both economy and civil society. This is born of a long-held desire to increase the representation of developing nations in appropriately responding to shared global challenges," the UAE foreign minister wrote in the opinion piece.

In the eyes of Adnan Mansour, who served as Lebanon's foreign minister between 2011 and 2014, the Johannesburg summit will strengthen BRICS' position in a world where the United States and its allies have been coming up with global trade rules that only serve their own advantage.

"The event will contribute to global stabilization, dialogue, partnership and progress," he told Russian news agency TASS in an interview published earlier this week.

"At a time when there is so much criticism about how Western countries have failed to create a more equitable economic order in a world plagued by poverty, over-exploitation of the planet's resources, pollution, famine and disease, BRICS+ could go a long way in addressing some of these challenges," Al Sharif wrote.

Special Reports