South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced at a session of the 15th BRICS Summit held on Thursday that the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) bloc has invited Egypt to join provided that its membership is valid starting from January 1, 2024.
The bloc has also invited the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Iran, and Ethiopia.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hailed the announcement, according to the spokesperson for the Presidency Ahmed Fahmy.
“We are proud of the confidence of all the countries of the bloc, with which we share close relations. We look forward to cooperating with them in the coming period, alongside the countries invited to join, in order to achieve the bloc’s goals in strengthening economic cooperation amongst its members, and working to raise the voice of the countries of the south on the various developmental issues and challenges we face,” Fahmy stated.
Professor of finance and investment Hisham Ibrahim said that Egypt’s accession to BRICS will serve as its way out of the many problems it is facing recently, thanks to the bloc’s economic and commercial dealings.
These include Egypt’s struggle against foreign currencies, especially the US dollar.
In a telephone interview with the Cairo News Channel, Ibrahim said that Egypt’s accession to BRICS gives it the opportunity to trade with major countries such as China, India, Russia and Brazil within their local currencies.
Egypt joining the BRICS comes in light of its search for alternatives to the US dollar, a plight shared by many other countries, Ibrahim noted.
He added that the 15th BRICS summit will help remove any obstacles standing amongst member states so that economic cooperation will be the most important, and only, path.
The BRICS is an important economic bloc comprising five major developed economies, with more countries aspiring to join.
Among the major topics discussed at the 15th BRICS Summit is the common currency project, as the BRICS bloc seeks to reduce the dominance of the dollar in global trade payments.
BRICS members propose increasing the use of local currencies in intra-trade to establish a common payment system.
Countries that have officially requested joining the BRICS so far include the UAE, Egypt, Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Ethiopia, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Thailand, Venezuela and Vietnam.
The “Daily Maverick” newspaper reported, quoting a senior diplomatic official, on Wednesday that BRICS leaders will announce a list of around five countries that will join the BRICS, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
The newspaper noted that Egypt is a member of the BRICS Development Bank, while Saudi Arabia is the second largest oil producer in the Middle East and a member of OPEC.