Brics to task Finance Ministers with consideration of local currencies

24th August 2023 By: Thabi Shomolekae - Creamer Media Senior Writer

Brics to task Finance Ministers with consideration of local currencies

President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa noted on Thursday that Brics countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have agreed to task Brics Finance Ministers, and possibly Central Bank Governors, to consider the use of local currencies, payment instruments and platforms and to report back to the Brics leaders by the next Summit.

Ramaphosa closed the three-day fifteenth yearly Brics Summit, in Johannesburg, where he said Brics members noted an unbalanced recovery from the hardship of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is still exacerbating inequality across the world.

He said members noted a global momentum shift in calls for the use of local currencies, alternative financial arrangements and alternative payment systems.

Ramaphosa announced that Brics members were ready to explore opportunities for improving the stability, reliability and fairness of the global financial architecture.

Brics leaders encouraged multilateral financial institutions and international organisations to play a constructive role in building a global consensus on economic policies.

Joining virtually, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasised the issues of mutual currencies settlement and united currencies. He said while it was a challenging task, Brics members would move towards resolutions.

Putin also spoke about ensuring settlements between Brics member States in economic terms.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that the gross domestic product (GDP) of Brics will make up 37% of global GDP in terms of purchasing power and 46% in terms of the world population.

“Brics will continue to open to other members and for that we also approved the criteria for future members, also approving the creation of a working group so that we can study the adoption unit, currency as reference for the Brics,” added Lula.

He said this measure could increase options for means of payment and reduce vulnerabilities.

Brics members have reached consensus on the first phase of the bloc’s expansion.

Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates have been invited to become full members of Brics, from January 2024.

Ramaphosa highlighted that through this summit, Brics had embarked on a new chapter in its effort to build a world that is fair, just, inclusive and prosperous.

Ramaphosa noted that Brics members had addressed their expectations for the Brics economic partnership to generate tangible benefits for communities and deliver viable solutions for common challenges faced by the Global South.

“We shared our vision of Brics as a champion of the needs and concerns of the people of the Global South. These include the need for beneficial economic growth, sustainable development and reform of multilateral systems,” he explained.