BRICS leaders edged closer to adding new members to their club for the first time since 2010, after agreeing terms for an enlargement of the group that they hope will lift its clout on the world stage.
(Bloomberg) — BRICS leaders edged closer to adding new members to their club for the first time since 2010, after agreeing terms for an enlargement of the group that they hope will lift its clout on the world stage.
“We have a document, which we have adopted, that sets out guidelines and principles, processes for considering countries that wish to become members of BRICS,” South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor told Ubuntu Radio on Wednesday. “The more detailed announcement will be made by the BRICS leaders” before the conclusion of their annual summit in Johannesburg, which ends Thursday, she said
She named no names but dozens of countries have shown interest in potentially joining the bloc, including Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Egypt, and Argentina. An expansion of the group of emerging market powers could help boost its global heft and counter the dominance of the Group of Seven. China, backed by Russia and South Africa, has been the main driver behind the addition of more members, but India, which is concerned that the bloc could become a mouthpiece for its neighbor, and Brazil have advocated a cautious approach.
India Backs Expansion, Calls For Space Consortium (3:58 p.m.)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave public backing to adding new members to BRICS and Chinese President Xi Jinping called for the process to be accelerated.
“India fully supports the expansion of BRICS membership and we welcome moving forward on this based on consensus,” Modi said. He also suggested the creation of a BRICS space consortium.
BRICS Bank Aims to Hike Local-Currency Borrowing (3:45 p.m.)
New Development Bank, the multilateral lender founded by the BRICS, aims to increase the share of funding it raises in local currencies to 30% from less than 20%, Leslie Maasdorp, its chief financial officer, told Bloomberg.
He also said it is struggling to find viable projects to fund as part of its $3 billion pledge for South Africa’s Just Energy Transition initiative, noting that “we need bankable projects that have gone through due diligence processes, and there’s a shortage.”
China to Set up BRICS Science Park, Xi Says (12:42 p.m.)
China will set up a science and innovation incubation park for BRICS nations, Xi said in a speech to the summit. He also said the bloc’s members had agreed on quick action to start artificial intelligence study group and expand their cooperation in the field.
Russia to Host 2024 BRICS Summit (12:37 p.m.)
Russian President Vladimir Putin said his nation will hold the next BRICS summit in Kazan in October next year. Addressing the Johannesburg gathering remotely via a video link, he proposed the creation of BRICS commission to secure cargo transportation routes. He also urged BRICS to increase its role in the international monetary system, and expand the use of national currencies.
Lula Wants BRICS Involved in Ukraine Diplomacy (12:30 p.m.)
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told the summit that Russia’s war in Ukraine highlighted the limitations of the United Nations Security Council, and that BRICS nations needed to work together to end the fighting.
“Looking for peace is a duty and imperative for fair and sustainable development,” he said. “The war in Ukraine has global effects. We don’t underestimate the difficulties to reach peace, but I can’t remain indifferent to the deaths and destruction that increase every day.”
–With assistance from Li Liu, Khuleko Siwele, Timothy Rangongo, Paul Vecchiatto, Niveditha Ravi, Jing Li and Arijit Ghosh.
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