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BRICS Summit 2023: Leaders to discuss bloc’s enlargement, currency cooperation and Africa’s peace and security

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The BRICS Summit 2023, a gathering of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, will kick off on August 22 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The summit, which is the 15th edition of the annual event, will focus on issues such as the expansion of the bloc, currency cooperation, food security, trade and investment, and peace and security in Africa. The summit will also feature an outreach session with African leaders and a dialogue with the BRICS Business Council and the New Development Bank.

The BRICS group of major emerging economies represents about 40% of the world’s population, 30% of the world’s GDP and 17% of the world’s trade. The group aims to balance the Western dominance of the global order and promote cooperation among its members and other developing countries. The group also faces challenges such as internal divisions, geopolitical tensions, economic slowdowns and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Expansion: The BRICS group has been considering expanding its membership to include more countries from the Global South. There are currently 23 countries that have expressed interest in joining the bloc, including Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and Nigeria. The summit will try to reach a consensus on the admission rules and criteria for new members.

Currency cooperation: The BRICS group has been exploring ways to reduce its dependence on the US dollar and increase the use of its own currencies in trade and investment. The summit will discuss proposals such as setting up a common payments system, creating a common currency and establishing a BRICS credit rating agency. The group also has a Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), a $100 billion fund to provide liquidity support to its members in case of balance-of-payments crises.

Food security: The BRICS group has been working on enhancing its food security and agricultural cooperation. The summit will review the progress of the BRICS Agricultural Research Platform (ARP), a virtual network of agricultural research institutions that aims to foster innovation and technology transfer. The summit will also discuss ways to improve food production, distribution and access in the face of climate change, population growth and urbanization.

Trade and investment: The BRICS group has been striving to boost its trade and investment flows among its members and with other developing countries. The summit will assess the implementation of the BRICS Strategy for Economic Partnership 2025, which outlines a vision for enhancing economic cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, energy, digital economy, e-commerce and tourism. The summit will also explore opportunities for collaboration under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s global infrastructure project that connects Asia, Europe and Africa.

Peace and security in Africa: The BRICS group has been supporting peace and security efforts in Africa, especially in regions affected by conflict, terrorism and instability. The summit will hold an outreach session with African leaders to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation on peacekeeping, counter-terrorism, mediation and conflict resolution. The summit will also address issues such as human rights, democracy, governance and development in Africa.
The BRICS Summit 2023 is expected to produce a joint declaration that will reflect the common positions and priorities of the group on various global and regional issues. The summit will also showcase the achievements and potential of the BRICS group as a force for positive change in the world.

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