Brazil has expressed concerns about the potential rapid expansion of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) group, fearing it could destabilize the organization and undermine the current member states’ roles, according to government sources. An anonymous Brazilian official stated that an expansion could transform the bloc into something different and emphasized the importance of maintaining cohesion within the group.
The BRICS group, founded in 2006, promotes itself as a counterbalance to Western influence in the global political order. With a combined population of around 40% of the world’s total and nearly a quarter of the global economy, the organization aims to develop alternatives to traditional international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
However, concerns are growing over the potential expansion of the group, with more than 40 countries expressing interest in joining and 22 formally applying for membership. Bolivia announced its interest in joining on Monday, adding to the discussions on criteria for candidates to meet. The current members are hoping to reach a consensus on these criteria before the upcoming summit of leaders in Johannesburg in August.
While China and Russia have expressed support for expanding the organization, South Africa is in favor as long as the rules are carefully considered. India, which had reservations in the past, has largely abandoned them, leaving Brazil as the main holdout. A Brazilian official acknowledged that Brazil would eventually have to give in, but emphasized that it would not be beneficial for the country.
Brazil is advocating for a gradual growth strategy to maintain regional balance and ensure the continued significance of the five existing members. The country is concerned that a rapid expansion could lead to a dilution of its influence within the group.
The expansion of BRICS has the potential to significantly impact the global economic and political landscape. As more countries express interest in joining, discussions and negotiations continue to ensure that any new members align with the group’s objectives and principles. For now, it remains to be seen how the organization will manage its expansion while maintaining its original vision and objectives.