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Thailand Applies To Join BRICS

Thailand will apply to become a member of the BRICS economic bloc, the Thai government in Bangkok announced on Tuesday (May 28). Government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said that the Thai cabinet has approved the text of the official letter expressing Thailand’s intent to join the group.

According to Chai, the letter declares that Thailand understands the importance of multipolarity and the increasing role of developing countries in international affairs.

Thailand’s vision for the future is in line with BRICS principles and joining would benefit the country in many ways, including enhancing its role in the international arena and providing opportunities to take part in shaping a new world order, the letter apparently says.

BRICS has invited non-member countries aspiring to join, to take part in the next BRICS summit, scheduled to be held in late October in Kazan, Russia. Attending the summit would be an opportunity for Thailand to accelerate the application process, Chai said.

Originally composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, BRICS added Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates at the beginning of 2024. Since then, 15 more countries have signalled an intent to join, including Bahrain, Belarus, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Senegal and Venezuela.

The expanded BRICS makes up about 30% of the global economy and a population of around 3.5 billion, or 45% of the world’s total. It also accounts for over 40% of the world’s oil production.

According to the International Monetary Fund, BRICS currently accounts for as much as 36% of global GDP in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), compared to just over 30% for the G7. BRICS aims to overtake the G7 in nominal global GDP over the next four years, Dilma Rousseff, the head of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) said in February. Russia’s bilateral trade with Thailand is currently running at about US$1.8 billion, with Russia exporting mixed mineral and chemical fertilizers, crude petroleum and gold, while Thailand exports mainly rubber and ethylene to Russia.  

Further Reading

  • Russia-Thailand 2024 Trade & Development
  • BRICS 2024 Trade & Development
    Comprehensive details both of the BRICS and Russia’s trade and development with Thailand can be read in our 2024 Russia’s Pivot To Asia guide. This is a complimentary download and can be accessed in English here and in Russian here
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