The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is set to join BRICS, an economic bloc composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. According to Abdulla bin Touq Al-Marri, the UAE’s economy minister, the UAE’s BRICS membership is an opportunity to boost global trade.
He also assured in a conversation with Bloomberg that this move would not jeopardize its relationship with Western nations.
BRICS recently reached an agreement to welcome the UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Argentina, to intensify its efforts to reshuffle the current world order. This move is also seen to amplify BRICS’ goal of championing the interests of the Global South.
These six countries will become BRICS members from January 1, 2024.
Enhancing global trade
Al-Marri considers the UAE’s BRICS membership a strategic and important step. “Joining BRICS will add a lot to the UAE’s multilateral support to the world. We are focusing on our global trade, the UAE has always been a global hub,” he told Bloomberg.
He further disclosed that the country plans to allocate capital to the New Development Bank (NDB). NDB is a multilateral development bank based in Shanghai, China, and was founded by BRICS two years ago. Currently, it has an authorized capital of $100 bn.
Nonetheless, Al-Marri pointed out that the UAE joining BRICS does not indicate opposition to nations in the West. Additionally, he reiterated that the UAE is also focusing on trade growth with the US.
Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill first coined the term BRIC in 2001, referring to Brazil, Russia, India, and China. The group was formalized as BRIC in 2006, and they held their first-ever summit in 2009. South Africa was added in 2010 to form BRICS.
Last week, South Africa hosted its 15th summit, where South African President Cyril Ramaphosa named the countries that will become BRICS’ new members by 2024.
“BRICS has embarked on a new chapter in its effort to build a world that is fair, a world that is just, a world that is also inclusive and prosperous. We have consensus on the first phase of this expansion process and other phases will follow,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping noted that its recent expansion is “historic.” “It shows the determination of BRICS countries for unity and cooperation with the broader developing countries,” he further stated.
BRICS is home to about 40 percent of the world’s population and, collectively, they make up 25 percent of the global gross domestic product.
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