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Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey apply to join Brics

SAUDI ARABIA, Turkey and Egypt are on course to become the latest members of the Brics International Forum group and could submit applications next year, its president said today.

“All three countries have shown their interest in joining [Brics] and are preparing to apply for membership,” Purnima Anand said. 

“I believe this is a good step, because expansion is always looked upon favourably; it will definitely bolster Brics’ global influence,” she told Russian newspaper Izvestia.

Their membership bids could be discussed and potentially agreed at next year’s Brics  summit in South Africa, with the trio “already engaged in the process.”

It is doubtful that they will all join at the same time, Ms Anand said, but she added that their membership will come “very soon.”

Iran and Argentina applied last month to join the bloc of emerging economies, which comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The Brics countries account for more than 40 per cent of the global population and about a quarter of the world’s gross domestic product.  

Also last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans for Brics to develop a new “basket-based” global reserve currency, which would pose a serious challenge to the United States.  

The basket is likely to contain the five present members’ currencies — the real, rouble, rupee, renminbi and rand — and would present an alternative to the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Right (SDR). 

The SDR is not a currency, but effectively a basket of claims on top reserve currencies such as the US dollar, the euro, the pound, the yen and its most recent addition the renminbi.

Washington also fears the decline of the dollar as the world currency since this would mean it losing the ability to control global financial markets. 

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