BRICS admit six countries to the bloc, seeks to boost local currency lending

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  • BRICS total GDP now stands at US$30.76 trillion, controlling about 30 percent of the global economy
  • The new countries to join BRICS include Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates.
  • NDB announced plans to begin lending in South African rand and Brazilian Real to defy the overreliance on US dollar.
  • The NDB has already raised US$4.5 billion this year and targets raise US$8 billion by the end of 2023.

The just concluded 15th BRICS Summit has been nothing but eventful. The event was scheduled to run from August 22 to August 24, 2023, at Sandton Convention Center in South Africa and has been richly attended. Among the founding members that graced the event include Host President Cyril Ramaphosa, Xi Jinping (President of China), Narendra Mondi (India’s Prime Minister) and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Brazil). President Vladamir Putin only attended the event virtually, owing to the complications arising from the ICC arrest warrant issued to him on claims over the abduction of children from Ukraine.

The conclusion of the 15th BRICS Summit signifies geo-political changes in the world. It straddles across four continents, and the population in the four nations topples around 3.5 billion people. Over the past decade, the bloc has been a significant driver of global growth, trade and investment.

BRICS ” stands for solidarity, progress, inclusivity, sustainable development, and a more equitable order. We are an inclusive formation of developing and emerging economies that seek to work together and benefit from our rich cultures, histories and systems to advance the prosperity of our people.” President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

Read: India and UAE agree to settle trade in Rupees ahead of BRICS summit

The need to replace a ‘weaponized global Financial system’

President Vladimir Putin expressed the need to strengthen an alternative global order. He slammed the current financial system for being used as a weapon by the West.

“The applied sanctions on sovereign states trample upon all the basic norms and rules of free trade and economic life norms and rules that not so long ago seemed immutable. Instead, they have led to a shortage of resources, rising unemployment and other chronic problems in the world economy, such as an increase in food prices, affecting the most vulnerable countries. BRICS states have stepped up their interaction, and our joint work will ensure economic growth and sustainable development brings concrete tangible results globally.” Vladamir Putin Said.

Heads of State attend the 15th BRICS summit.

Other presidents from across the globe that attended the BRICS summit 2023 include Samia Suluhu, President Miguel Diaz-Canel (Cuba), Lazarus Chakwera (Malawi), Filipe Nyusi (Mozambique), Nana Akufo-Addo (Ghana), Azali Assounami (Comoros), Hakainda Hicihlema (Zambia), Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (Kazakistan), Salva Kiir (South Sudan). Other key figures that attended the conference comprised vice presidents, Prime ministers, Ambassadors, and finance and business experts.

The event concluded with the successful inclusion of six countries in the growing global bloc.

Six countries join BRICS.

The new countries to join BRICS include Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates. Forty countries submitted applications to join the block, with 22 sending an official statement, but only six have been admitted. The inclusion of the six nations will take effect starting January 1, 2024. BRICS total GDP now stands at US$30.76 trillion, controlling about 30 percent of the global economy.

Adding new members to BRICS will strengthen the organization and give a shared effort a new impetuous one. Additionally, the inclusion will count on the contribution pool of the New Development Bank, otherwise known as the BRICS Development Bank.

New Development Bank: BRICS’ haven to replace the World Bank

The New Development Bank was set up by the five nations that comprise BRICS. Its main agenda is to finance projects and innovations tailored to offer solutions that help build a more inclusive, resilient and globally sustainable future.

Recently, the NDB announced plans to lend in South African rand and Brazilian Real to defy overreliance on US dollar. On August 15, the bank closed the auction for its first South African rand bonds. According to Reuters, the two bonds, a 1 billion rand (US$52.3 million) five-year note and a 500 million rand (US$26.8 million) three-year note, attracted 2.67 billion rand of bids.

The BRICS development bank is also registering an Indian rupee bond programme worth US$2.5 billion over five years to boost local currency lending. NDB will register Brazilian Real and Russian ruble bond programmes soon. Furthermore, they hope to issue under 100 billion Russian Ruble (US$1.06 billion) bond programme set in 2019, according to Chief Finacial Officer Leslie Maasdrop.

The CFO further added that the bank targets to increase local currency lending from 22% to over 30% by 2026. Most of the local currency lending in the past has been in the Chinese Yuan. Impressively, The NDB has already raised US$4.5 billion, and targets to raise US$8 billion by the end of 2023.

However, even after adding new members to the bloc, the bank’s membership remains capped at six member states.

Read: Driving force behind South Africa’s crypto adoption rate


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I am a tech, business, and investment news reporter covering Africa. Most of what is good in Africa is obscured by preconceptions, yet there is still a lot of good going on. Technology is what is driving the continent and this is my passion. For Africa, I share the stories that are important to Africans.