The Brics group, a multinational organization founded at the beginning of the century by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and which has been revived after years of virtual dispearance, An ambitious summit began in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
It seeks to define its future global influence, the path of the Bank that has shed the organization and the effect of the conflict in Ukraine involving one of its most relevant members. But an outstanding point The agreement is already well advanced to expand with candidates ranging from Argentina to Egypt.
The magnification is a geopolitical challenge. There are 23 candidates who have plied for membership, but only five stand out, they told Clarion Brazilian diplomatic sources. On Thursday, at the close of the summit, will be invited to join” to Argentina, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Indonesia. indicated.
These five plicants are seen with degrees of independence in their foreign policy, which would avoid a configuration of the Brics as an artifact of China and Russia that antagonize the US and the G7, the group of the most industrialized countries in the world. Thus, historical opponents of Washington such as Cuba, Iran, Venezuela and Belarus are left out.
The Chinese regime, which funds the New Development Bank (N), the group’s financial institution is in favor of unrestricted income. But India and with greater emphasis Brazil have set conditions with various arguments.
Brasilia demands, in particular, support for its historic demand for Member of the Permanent Council of the United Nations, a claim that Buenos Aires never endorsed. The invitation will be formalized despite the imminent change of government that will take place in a couple of months in Argentina.
As for India, that country rivals on various levels with China and distrust remains outside of these proaches. “In the long term, the China-India rivalry is probably the biggest challenge facing the Brics,” says Jannie Rossouw of the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. This parallels the controversy over the war.
The South African President, Cyril Ramhosa, received his counterparts from China and Brazil, Xi Jinping and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. He also the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov. Vladimir Putin did not travel who faces a charge of war crimes at the International Criminal Court of which South Africa is a member which would force its authorities to arrest him.
The 15th Brics Summit comes at a time of controversy due to the issue of the war. South Africa, China and India have not condemned the invasion of Ukraine. Brazil has refused to send arms to kyiv and rejects sanctions against Moscow, while proposing a peace agreement without demanding the immediate withdrawal of the invading army.
Ramhosa insisted on his policy of non-alignment, and assured that South Africa “will not allow itself to be drawn into a competition between world powers.”
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Meanwhile, Dilma Rousseff, former president of Brazil and head of the N, announced that the entity plans to make loans in the South African and Brazilian currencies, part of a plan to reduce dependence on the dollar and promote an international financial system with other players. Rousseff, quoted by the Financial Times, confirmed that there are “four or five” countries on the list to be able to enter, but she did not identify them.
“Our goal is to achieve close to 30% of everything we lend… in local currency,” the entity’s president told the British newsper. She added that the N would issue rand debt for loans in South Africa and would do “the same in Brazil with the real. We will try to make a currency exchange or issue debt. And also in rupees. The bank already lends in renminbi, the Chinese currency.
The entity has tried to distinguish itself from the World Bank and the IMF by not imposing lists of policy conditions on loans. “We repudiate any kind of conditionality,” Rousseff said. “Often a loan is given on the condition that certain policies are implemented. We don’t do that. We respect the policies of each country.”
The bank has a problem: Ratings agency Fitch downgraded the N’s debt rating from AA+ to AA last year, with a negative outlook, given the bank’s exposure to Russia, saying it “could face challenges issuing a bond to long-term in the US cital markets.”
This is due to the image risks associated with its structure of partly Russian owned, the rating agency said, with Moscow holding 19.4% of the cital by the end of 2021. Fitch revised the N’s outlook to stable in May after the bank was able to issue a $1.25 billion Green Bond, but did not reset its AA+ rating.
Fountain. AFP, AP and Clarin