Thai Cabinet approves BRICS membership bid



Thailand declared its strategic move to become a member of the BRICS economic bloc, further deepening its engagement with global emerging economies.

A draft letter indicating Thailand's intent on becoming a member of BRICS was approved at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, government spokesperson Chai Wacharonke said.

BRICS has a policy to expand beyond its current members, and has invited nonmember countries to attend the 16th BRICS Summit, which is scheduled to be held in Kazan, Russia, in October.

The letter, drafted by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that Thailand has placed importance on multilateralism and the increased representation of developing countries in the international system, which is in line with BRICS principles.

Thailand is currently in a queue of 15 countries being considered for admission. Chai said attending the event would be an opportunity for Thailand to accelerate the membership process and enhance its role as a leading player among developing nations.

BRICS was founded in 2009 by its namesake countries Brazil, Russia, India and China. South Africa was the first beneficiary of an expansion of the bloc in 2010. Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates joined the group at the beginning of this year — the second round of the bloc's expansion that was approved at the 15th BRICS Summit.

BRICS now comprises almost 46 percent of the world's population, 36 percent of global GDP and 25 percent of world trade, measured in terms of exports, according to some research papers.

The guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures for BRICS expansion have been decided in accordance with the BRICS objective of strengthening cooperation under the three pillars of political and security, economic and financial, and cultural and people-to-people cooperation.

Thailand has also officially announced that it wants to apply to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which groups 38 of the world's most developed economies, the Bangkok Post reported.

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