BRICS leaders to pursue policy to shift away from US dollar

2023-08-24 18:56:04
BRICS leaders to pursue policy to shift away from US dollar

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says the BRICS group of nations will continue discussions on the use of local currencies to facilitate trade and investment flows.

Ramaphosa made the remarks while opening the second day of the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Ramaphosa said the group of emerging markets stands for an equitable and multipolar world - in contrast to Western dominance.

He said there was a need for BRICS countries to advance the development interests of the Global South.

The South African president lamented that traditional financial institutions are being weaponized against the Global South and being used as "instruments of geopolitical contestation.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who attended the summit via video link, also voiced support for greater use of national currencies in commercial transactions, saying BRICS countries should expand the number of settlements made in national currencies and interbank cooperation so they can avoid the US dollar.

Putin also said that every country has the right to defend its own traditions and plan its own models of economic development.

'Common BRICS currency'

In the meeting, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva advocated for a common BRICS currency, saying this would reduce members’ vulnerabilities.

"The creation of a currency for trade and investment transactions between BRICS members increases our payment options and reduces our vulnerabilities," he said at the opening plenary of the summit in Johannesburg.

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.


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