Four countries recently joined the economic bloc, and the door has been left open for further additions A street in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi. © Andy Soloman/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Vietnam is actively working on a bid to join the BRICS economic group, the Izvestia newspaper has reported, citing Hanoi’s embassy in Russia.

BRICS members Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa were joined by four more countries at the start of this year, when Ethiopia, Iran, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates formed part of a major expansion. Saudi Arabia has also been approved as a member but is reportedly considering final ratification of its accession.

Vietnam has yet to make a decision on a formal membership bid, although it is establishing a framework for BRICS participation and a potential request to join the group, Izvestia said, citing the Asian nation’s diplomatic mission in Moscow. Hanoi has not revealed if Vietnam will send a delegation to the BRICS summit scheduled for the Russian city of Kazan in October.

The bloc’s political and economic influence has increased significantly since sanctions were imposed on Moscow by the US and its allies following the start of the Ukraine conflict in 2022. BRICS members have not joined the Western campaign and have continued or boosted trade with Russia.

Numerous other nations have expressed interest in becoming BRICS members, and some have already formally submitted applications, including Venezuela, Thailand, Senegal, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Bahrain, and Pakistan.

BRICS helping Russia bypass Western sanctions – Lavrov BRICS helping Russia bypass Western sanctions – Lavrov

Vietnam’s economy has been a development success story, according to the World Bank. Economic reforms undertaken over the past four decades have helped propel the country from being one of the world’s poorest nations to a middle-income economy in one generation. The Vietnamese economy grew by 5.05% in 2023, missing the official growth target of 6.5%, although the World Bank has forecast steady GDP growth in the coming years.

Vietnam’s manufacturing sector includes industries such as textiles and garments, electronics, machinery, footwear, and food processing, and has attracted significant foreign investment.

Hanoi has adopted a neutral stance towards Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. Vietnam abstained on four of the UN General Assembly resolutions condemning Moscow’s actions, and voted against a motion to remove Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. (RT)