For the first time, the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping is expected to begin an expansion process to include new developing country members, according to the Chinese government.

Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday that Beijing will actively promote the expansion of BRICS and welcome more global partners to join the group.

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the remarks yesterday in a statement in response to media questions over Beijing’s view on expanding BRICS.

“China will work on BRICS parties to continue to have in-depth discussions on BRICS expansion and determine the standards and procedures for that on the basis of consensus. We look forward to more like-minded partners joining the big family of BRICS,” he said in a statement.

BRICS is a multilateral forum consisting of five major emerging economies of the world, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Mr Wang stressed that the recently held BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting backed the expansion of the initiative while the “BRICS Plus” consultation was also held as part of the ministers’ meeting.

On May 23, A BRICS Plus virtual conference was held as part of the main meeting with ministers from countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Argentina, Nigeria, Senegal, and Thailand, according to reports.

BRICS Plus is a new phase in the expansion of BRICS – already known for its combined economic growth potential – that aims to welcome more countries and enhance economic conditions.

China actively supports the start of BRICS expansion process and broaden “BRICS Plus” cooperation,” the Chinese ministry said.

“Facing the once-in-a-century changes and pandemic which are compounded by international hotspot issues, BRICS countries agree that it is important to enhance cooperation with other emerging markets and developing countries, further improve the representation of BRICS, make BRICS’ voice in major international and regional issues more widely heard, join hands to meet challenges, and uphold the common interests and development space of emerging markets and developing countries, the statement read.