The BRICS Summit wrapped up this weekend in South Africa and the following countries have now joined the economic group: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates.
These are economic powerhouses. Their addition means that BRICS countries now control 44% of the world’s oil production compared to 3.9% controlled by the G7 nations.
According to TASS, “in its expanded make-up, the BRICS group will now span 48.5 mln square kilometers, covering 36% of the Earth’s surface, a territory that is twice as large as the G7. Its total population will reach 3.6 bln people, or 45% of the global population, and more than four times as large as the G7’s population.”
BRICS is not a defensive group like NATO. It is an economic collaboration meant to allow each member state its own economic advancement.
At last week’s summit, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said this about BRICS: “We do not want to be a counterpoint to the G7, G20 or the United States. We just want to organize ourselves.”
This means organizing outside of the U.S. dollar. In the wake of the summit, Brazil proposed the Chinese Yuan as Trade Guarantee to Argentina in order to avoid the risks associated with the dollar.