BRICS’ FM meet

Context

During the discussion of BRICS nations’ Foreign Ministers (FM) at Cape Town, South Africa, a geopolitical consolidation of the grouping has been proposed to expand the membership of BRICS, and a common currency.

About BRICS:

  • The BRICS countries comprise Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, and represent the largest developing economies.
  • Founded in: 2006
  • It is pertinent to note that the countries together represent 41% of the world’s population, around 25% of global GDP and around 20% of world trade.
  • Subsidiary: New Development Bank
  • Aim: The BRICS mechanism aims to promote peace, security, development and cooperation.
  • The five nation powerful grouping has been discussing and deliberating on issues of common concern for all developing countries.
  • BRICS countries have regularly called for reform of the multilateral system in order to make it more representative and inclusive.

Highlights of the meet:

  • The foreign ministers’ meeting will finalise the agenda for the 15th BRICS summit scheduled to be held in South Africa in August, 2023.
  • Two items on the agenda are attracting notice;
    • A plan to expand the membership of BRICS, and a common currency.
  • South Africa is going to conduct the BRICS summit for the year 2023 and also hosting a Friends of BRICS meeting, with 15 foreign ministers from Africa and the Global South.

The theme of upcoming BRICS summit 2023 is: “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism”.

Significance of the meet:

  • Talks on a Common Currency:
    • The idea of a common currency was proposed by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin at the Beijing BRICS summit 2022.
    • committee will be formed to study the viability of the idea.
    • The last year of Russia-Ukraine war has seen economies around the world feel the impact of the sanctions, the resultant spike in energy prices, combined with the rising value of the dollar.
    • Thus, the idea of common currency can boost the trade relations between the member countries also in a situation of conflict.

Challenges associated:

  • The complications in implementing a common currency can be such as the setting up of a common central bank of member countries that have different economic and political systems and are located on different continents.
  • Most among the BRICS nations are developing countries in nature and thus they are facing a growth crisis which can become a challenge to economies bring a common ground of exchange.

Future aspirations of the BRICS grouping:

  • Looking for Multi-polarity:
    • As many as 19 countries are said to be in the queue to join BRICS.
  • Strengthening a Global South:
    • To break the hegemony of Dollar and make the other currency competitive, the step of common currency is seen as progressive.
    • However, the nation’s comprising Global south has made a clear indication for West, as they also are keeping the pace to become one amongst them.

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