BRICS expansion, use of national currency among key agendas of summit

Indian rupees, brics

Expanding BRICS and using national currency are among critical agendas of the discussion in the 15th BRICS Summit beginning here from Tuesday, India's BRICS Sherpa Dammu Ravi told ANI in an interview.

The 1989-batch Indian Foreign Service, who is currently serving as Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said, "There are many issues that will be discussed in the Summit, including next expansion of Brics on the agenda and use of national currency for trading and economic activity amongst the BRICS member countries."

"As far as the agenda is concerned, there are many issues that are being discussed and also reported mostly the next expansion item on the agenda. And second, is the use of national currency for trading and economic activity amongst the BRICS countries," Ravi said.

Explaining in detail, the officer said BRICS expansion discussion has been going on for the last two years.

"Earlier there was no thought that Brics would be extended. As the world is changing in the 21st century, all the developing countries together decided for the expansion of Brics keeping in mind their agenda items and economic development," said the IFS officer. "But, for this, guidelines, as well as criteria, are needed."

As per Ravi, India has been "constructive" in this work and we have taken the first initiative at the Sherpa level. "Currently, we cannot say which country can be part of the expansion. It will be decided after thorough discussion by all the leaders and the country which has to be brought into Brics. Before the expansion, it would be kept in mind that the country can cooperate in the development and in the expansion of BRICS."

As far as the inclusion of national currency in trading is concerned, the officer said, it is not new and it has already happened.
"There is an opportunity for trading in your national currency. All the BRICS countries together will take this decision and discuss that they can trade in their national currency in these BRICS countries."

From India's point of view, Ravi said, "Development dimension and issues that are so crucial and critical for the Global South, will be part of the discussion in the BRICS Summit, scheduled on August 22-24.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visionary leadership has always been emphasising that the solutions and the challenges for the global south have to be collectively worked together."

He further said this is the first time since the pandemic that leaders are meeting in person. "So, in that sense, this assumes enormous importance and significance so that all the leaders are meeting in person."

Noting that its third time when Prime Minister Modi is visiting South Africa and that this visit also marks the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between India and South Africa, the officer said there are lots of ideas of Prime Minister Modi's which are being discussed in the Brics meetings."

PM Modi will join the leaders of Brazil, China and South Africa for the 15th Brics Summit. Russian President Vladimir Putin will join the meeting virtually while the Russian delegation will be led by foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
Modi will also participate in a special event with the theme "Brics - Africa outreach and Brics plus dialogue". This is being organised after the BRICS Summit and will include dozens of countries, mostly from the African continent, invited by South Africa.

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