BRICS Latest: India Backs Expansion, Calls For Space Consortium

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.

(Bloomberg) — 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 told a summit of leaders of the bloc, which also includes Brazil, Russia, and South Africa, on Wednesday. Modi also suggested the creation of a BRICS space consortium.

An expansion of the group of emerging market powers could help boost its global heft and counter the dominance of the Group of Seven. Dozens of nations have expressed interest in joining. China 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, has advocated a cautious approach.  

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%, its chief financial officer Leslie Maasdorp 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.”

Modi Moots BRICS Space Consortium (12:43 p.m)

Modi suggested the creation of a BRICS space consortium. His call came hours before a spacecraft from the South Asian nation attempts to land near the moon’s south pole. A successful touch down will lift India’s prestige in the global space race, after it suffered a setback from a failed moon mission in 2019.

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 UN 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 and Jing Li.

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