Malaysia preparing to join BRICS economic group, media report says

BRICS Summit in Johannesburg

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia is preparing to join the BRICS group of emerging economies, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said in an interview with Chinese media outlet Guancha.

The BRICS group of nations originally included Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, which gave it the acronym.

The group last year began to expand its membership as it looks to challenge a world order dominated by Western economies, with Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates joining and more than 40 countries expressing interest.

"We have made a decision, we will be placing the formal procedures soon... we are just waiting for the final results from the government in South Africa," Anwar said, according to a video of the interview posted by Guancha on Sunday.

A representative from Anwar's office on Tuesday confirmed his comments to Reuters.

During the interview, he did not provide further details on the application process.

Anwar's comments came ahead of a three-day visit by Chinese Premier Li Qiang this week, as part of celebrations marking the 50th year of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China.

Malaysia and China are expected to sign several deals during Li's visit, including renewing a five-year trade and economic cooperation agreement.

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Jamie Freed)