BRICS to Strengthen Economic Cooperation — Sherpa Calls for Increased Trade in National Currencies
South Africa’s BRICS Sherpa says one of the priorities at the upcoming BRICS summit is “to strengthen economic cooperation.” He added: “We need a stable global financial architecture, a global financial arena. That is why we say that we need to trade in our own currencies.” He also believes that the recession forecasts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank will not affect the BRICS nations.
BRICS Sherpa Discusses Summit Priorities
South Africa’s BRICS Sherpa, Anil Sooklal, delved into the agendas and priorities of the upcoming BRICS summit under South Africa’s presidency in an interview with BRICS TV, published Wednesday. Sooklal previously taught at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of South Africa. He also served as Deputy Director General of the Asia and Middle East Department of International Relations and Cooperation until January 2022. From 2006 to 2012, he served as South Africa’s Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
The BRICS summit will be held in Johannesburg from Aug. 22 to 24. All leaders of the five member nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) have been invited to attend. “This will be the first face-to-face summit in four years, Sooklal noted.
“BRICS as a global association is based on three pillars — political security, economic and financial development, and social interaction among the member countries. All three pillars are critical important for the creation of a global political architecture that is equitable and just, which is a stable safe environment for all,” the South African Sherpa explained, adding that on the economic and financial side:
We need a stable global financial architecture, a global financial arena. That is why we say that we need to trade in our own currencies.
The BRICS economic bloc is exploring the launch of a common currency which is expected to be discussed by the BRICS leaders at the August summit. As the trend to de-dollarize grows worldwide, many people expect a BRICS currency to erode the U.S. dollar’s dominance.
Regarding the goals of the upcoming BRICS summit, he detailed, “One of the priorities is to strengthen economic cooperation.” Sooklal added that the group has adopted the second version of the BRICS Economic Partnership Strategy. “The document sets out the main areas for BRICS cooperation until 2025 in the following areas: trade, investment and finance, the digital economy, and sustainable development,” he stated.
Noting that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) “have agreed that about a third of the world economy will be in recession this year,” he opined:
I do not think this forecast will affect the BRICS countries. We are going to see positive dynamics. Some of the fastest growing economies are India and China. They are helping to stimulate not only the BRICS economies, but the global economy as a whole.
Discussing the growing interest in joining the BRICS group, Sooklal disclosed that during the Beijing summit last year, “the BRICS leaders asked us to consider the expansion of the association and to develop the guidelines for the admission of new members.” He recently revealed that 19 countries have either applied to join or expressed interest in joining BRICS. “This is positive news for the bloc, as it demonstrates the confidence of the Global South in the leadership of our association,” he emphasized.
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