Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Egypt, Bahrain, and Iran, who are all big oil producers, have officially requested to join the BRICS group of countries in preparation for its annual summit in South Africa.
Nineteen countries have expressed interest in joining the emerging market bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, Anil Soklal, South Africa’s ambassador, according to OilPrice.
A South African official told Bloomberg earlier this week that BRICS expansion and the modalities of how that would happen will be discussed. Thirteen countries have formally requested to join, and another six have requested informally. They receive applications to join every day.
BRICS will hold its annual summit in Cape Town during the first week of June; The foreign ministers of all five oil producers confirmed their presence.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg revealed that the BRICS should soon overtake the US-led G7 in economic growth expectations.
According to their analysis, while the G7 and BRICS countries contributed equally to global economic growth in 2020, the performance of the Western-led bloc has recently declined. By 2028, the G7 will account for only 27.8 percent of the global economy, while the BRICS will account for 35 percent.
The assessments come just weeks after Russian State Duma Deputy Speaker Alexander Babakov revealed that BRICS is working on developing a “new currency” unveiled at the organization’s upcoming summit.
Energy crisis ahead
BRICS member countries account for over 40 percent of the world’s population and about a quarter of the world’s GDP.
The interest of the countries of the Global South to join the bloc comes at a time when more and more countries are moving away from the US dollar. The dollar has become more unreliable for dollarized economies because of rising interest rates regulated by the US Federal Reserve and because the bank has weaponized the dollar through financial sanctions.
In addition, the West – especially Europe – is facing a growing energy crisis resulting from sanctions targeting the Russian energy market due to the invasion of Ukraine and sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipeline.