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BRICS welcomes five new members to the bloc

Starting 1 January 2024, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates and Iran have officially joined the BRICS trade bloc, as confirmed by South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor.

Created in 2006 by Brazil, Russia, India and China, the group's last addition had been South Africa, in 2010. However, at the fifteenth BRICS summit held in August 2023, the bloc surprised the world with the addition of the new members that would join the group in January 2024.

With the purpose of facing the dominant power of developed nations in world trade – by means of the creation of the New Development Bank, or the talks of a BRICS currency, for example – the new members of the group represent a relevant impact on trade relations. That is, as of now, the group combines 45% of the world's population and almost half of the global production of crude oil.   

The bloc's expansion will likely not stop there: 34 other nations have requested to join the group as of February 2024. Nevertheless, with many divergencies in both internal and foreign policies, experts are skeptical about how the group's members will reach political agreements.

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