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BRICS: S. Arabia, and four other nations join the group; 34 others in queue

BRICS: S. Arabia, and four other nations join the group; 34 others in queue

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Virendra Pandit

 

New Delhi: Saudi Arabia and four other nations—the UAE, Iran, Egypt, and Ethiopia—have joined the global power bloc called BRICS, a group of emerging economies, this year.

The bloc, founded by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, aims to establish a currency framework for inter-BRICS trade, potentially challenging the existing American dollar-dominated system as an “unfair and expensive” one, the media reported on Thursday.

South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor announced that the five nations have accepted invitations to join the BRICS club as full members. They were invited to become members during the bloc’s Summit last year.

He said Russia, which takes over as chair of the bloc from South Africa this year, has received written interest from 34 countries willing to join BRICS.

“Argentina has written to indicate that they will not act on this successful application by the previous administration to become full members of BRICS and we accept their decision,” Pandor told the media in the capital, Pretoria, on Wednesday.

Leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa agreed to enlarge their group from January 1, 2024, during a Summit held in Johannesburg in August 2023.

Their foreign ministers are developing a BRICS partner country model to accommodate 17 nations who were not accepted as full members, Pandor said.

The bloc is also devising a framework to allow members to use their local currencies for inter-BRICS trade.

The minister said the bloc found the existing, predominantly US dollar-based international payment system to be “unfair and costly.”

 

 

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