BRICS summit in South Africa: Bloc seeks to challenge dominance of US and dollar

2023-08-23 18:36:09
BRICS summit in South Africa: Bloc seeks to challenge dominance of US and dollar

The BRICS bloc is seeking to remake the alliance, which promotes economic cooperation between members, into a power to challenge the dominance of the US and the dollar.

The 15th BRICS summit will take place from August 22 to 24 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The summit will be attended by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazil's Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Russian President Vladimir Putin will join the summit virtually.

Addressing the BRICS summit by video link Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin took swipes at the West, and said the summit represented the "global majority."

"This is the essence of the future-oriented strategic course of our association, a course that meets the aspirations of the main part of the world community, the so-called global majority," said Putin, who couldn't attend in person because of an international arrest warrant over the war in Ukraine.

The five-nation bloc accounts for 42 percent of the global population and about 26 percent of the world’s economy, according to the South Africa-based Institute for Security Studies.

The BRICS group of fast-developing economies is often seen as an alternative development partners to the Western economic and political hegemony.

Spread over the globe and with economies that operate in vastly different ways, the main thing uniting the BRICS is scepticism about a US-led “world order” they see as serving the interests of the US and its rich-country allies who promote international norms they enforce but don't always respect.

More than 40 countries have expressed interest in joining BRICS, say South African officials, 22 of whom have formally asked to be admitted. Iran has submitted a formal application to join the bloc.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi is in South Africa to participate in the BRICS summit at the invitation of Ramaphosa.

Beyond the enlargement question, boosting the use of member states' local currencies in trade and financial transactions to lessen dependency of the U.S. dollar is also on the summit agenda.

South African organisers had said there would be no discussions of a common BRICS currency, an idea floated by Brazil as an alternative to dollar-dependence.


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