Modi vows to 'fully support' Brics expansion

More than 40 countries, including Iran, Egypt and Ethiopia, have expressed an interest in joining the bloc

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends the plenary session during the 2023 BRICS Summit in Johannesburg on Wednesday. AP
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that his country will “fully support” the expansion of Brics.

Mr Modi was addressing the plenary session of the Brics Business Forum Leaders' Dialogue on Wednesday, where he said that India is trying to move forward with other countries on the motto of “One Earth, One Family, One Future”.

“India fully supports the expansion of the Brics membership and welcomes moving forward with consensus in this,” Mr Modi said.

Brics comprises five emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – that comprise 41 per cent of the world’s population and about 25 per cent of global gross domestic product.

The three-day summit, which began on Tuesday, is being held in the South African city of Johannesburg.

Mr Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa are in attendance at the summit, while Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the gathering through a pre-recorded video from Moscow.

Brics was formed as an informal group in 2009 to provide a platform for its members to challenge a world order they consider to be dominated by the US and its western allies.

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the resulting sanctions imposed on Moscow by the West and the shift in the geopolitical order, the potential significance of the bloc has increased, particularly for Russia and China.

More than 40 nations including Iran, Egypt, and Ethiopia have expressed an interest in joining the forum.

South Africa, Russia and China support expanding membership as they seek to increase their influence to counter the US.

Ahead of Mr Modi’s visit, India’s Foreign Ministry said India has a “positive intent and open mind when it comes to the Brics expansion.”

But many experts say that Delhi will be wary of any expansion that benefits China amid evolving geopolitical dynamics that have brought Beijing and Moscow closer over the Ukraine war amid pushback from the West.

Updated: August 23, 2023, 1:01 PM