KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia's good relations with the member countries of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will enable Malaysia to become a 'partner country' soon with the trade grouping, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. He said in that context, Malaysia will be known as a BRICS 'new partner country' before Malaysia finalises its participation. "There is a possibility that Malaysia's application to join BRICS will take some time, but with good relations with member countries, there is a possibility that we can become a 'country partner' as (part of) a BRICS partner country model or as a new partner country. "In discussions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MITI (Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry), and the council of ministers, we feel that there is wisdom and a need for us to be together in this new BRICS framework," he said during the minister's question time at the Dewan Rakyat today in response to an additional question from Lee Chuan How (PH-Ipoh Timor) regard ing the mechanism that will be taken by the government toward BRICS membership. He also said that the participation does not conflict with Malaysia's foreign policy and that the government takes the approach of an independent country and that it is important to establish relations with all parties. "We also take note of the current economic situation where economic strength is no longer unipolar depending on just one big country, the United States," he added. Anwar said preliminary assessments showed that Malaysia's participation in BRICS has the potential to gain various benefits, particularly in improving trade and export performance, as well as strengthening the country's economic resilience. "Cumulatively, the gross domestic product (GDP) of BRICS member countries amounted to US$26.6 trillion, which is 26.2 per cent of the world's GDP, which is almost the same as the economic strength of the G7 countries. The economic strength of the BRICS member countries as a bloc will help increase international tra de among the member countries," he continued. The Prime Minister said BRICS member countries have a large population of 3.21 billion and that continues to increase with the inclusion of Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which have a total of 333 million people, forming a mega-market that includes as many 3.54 billion people, or almost 45 per cent of the world's population. "BRICS indeed has great potential to become a world economic power and this will certainly bring good things and contribute to Malaysia's economic growth in the long term," he added. On June 18, Anwar confirmed that he had expressed the intention to join BRICS to the President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. BRICS was established in 2009 as a cooperation platform for emerging economies comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China with South Africa joining the group in 2010. In January 2024, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) joined the organisation as new members. Source: BERNAMA News Agency