Russia and India partner to create a digital economy in BRICS expansion

Both countries are also exploring a native BRICS currency
Russia and India partner to create a digital economy in BRICS expansion
A crucial part of the cooperation between Russia and India lies in the development of a joint digital economy

Russia and India have joined forces to promote digital economy initiatives as part of their expansion efforts within the BRICS alliance. According to Sergey Cheremin, Moscow government minister and chairman of Russia’s Business Council for Cooperation with India, both nations share a common vision of constructing cutting-edge infrastructure and creating safe and comfortable urban environments. He made this statement during a speech at the Smart Cities India Expo program earlier this month, as reported by TV BRICS, a network formed by nine countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Cheremin highlighted that Russia and India aspire to become leaders in information technology and the digital economy.

Read more: Middle East’s digital economy to grow from $180 bn in 2022 to $780 bn in 2030

Exploring a native BRICS currency

The possibility of establishing a native BRICS currency, potentially based on blockchain technology, has been a subject of discussion among the member countries. The new partnership between Russia and India underscores their joint commitment to exploring this possibility and advancing the digital economy sector.

The success of this initiative could have far-reaching implications for the BRICS alliance. Previously, the BRICS nations initiated the BRICS Pay system as an alternative to the Western SWIFT payment system, aiming to establish financial alternatives within the bloc. The shift towards embracing digital economies is considered a crucial step in the alliance’s ongoing efforts to reduce dependence on the U.S. dollar. The collaboration between Russia and India in developing a shared digital economy could pave the way for significant advancements within the BRICS alliance, potentially reshaping the global economic landscape through innovative digital solutions.

Russia India
(Left) Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Strengthening India-Russia ties

In December 2023, Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov. Both parties reaffirmed their strong friendship and discussed deepening trade and strategic ties. 

India has emerged as one of Russia’s major economic partners as it has exponentially increased its imports of Russian crude oil since the war in Ukraine. Putin also invited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Moscow.

According to Reuters citing the Kremlin, Putin held a phone call on January 15 with Modi. The two leaders expressed interest in further intensifying mutually beneficial bilateral ties. 

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