© Sputnik/Anton Denisov
The BRICS group of emerging economies, which is comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, is open to welcoming new member countries, according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

Russia is focused on activities on the BRICS+ platform, which "makes it possible for interested countries to find ways to cooperate with the group's members," said Ryabkov, adding: "This is why it is possible to talk about the expansion of BRICS as a goal for the future."

According to Ryabkov, the Russian Sherpa in the five-nation trade bloc,
"BRICS' existence is important in terms of creating new positive elements in the economic, social and scientific development of our countries, as well as for other areas of development."
The group of five countries represents more than 40 percent of the world's population. In line with efforts to boost trade, members are working on the integration of payment systems, increasing payments in national currencies, as well as the establishment of an independent channel on information exchange. It was earlier reported that BRICS states are set to create a new joint payment system called BRICS Pay that will be similar to existing Apple Pay and Samsung Pay services.

The group which was originally called BRIC was established in 2006 by Brazil, Russia, India and China, before South Africa joined in 2010, adding the "S" to the acronym.