Ahead of BRICS 2023 Summit: What is on agenda?
With a thematic focus on ‘BRICS and Africa,’ the summit will explore the dynamic relationship between BRICS nations and African countries. Of particular interest is collaboration within the African Continental Free Trade Area, which presents opportunities for economic ties, sustainable development, and shared prosperity.
The 15th summit of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) group of major emerging economies is set to take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 22 until 24 August. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to attend in person, while Russian President Vladimir Putin will participate virtually.
This year’s summit will focus on several key issues, ranging from the expansion of the BRICS alliance to fortifying economic ties and exploring new horizons of cooperation.
Key themes of the upcoming summit are the following:
1. Expansion: One of the pivotal subjects that will occupy the discussions at the summit pertains to the expansion of the BRICS group. With more than 40 countries expressing interest in joining the alliance, the leaders find themselves at a crossroads, grappling with divergent views on the admission criteria. While some leaders advocate for a broadened coalition, others urge a cautious approach to preserve the group’s coherence and shared goals.
2. Strengthening the BRICS Bank: The summit will delve into innovative strategies for enhancing local currency fundraising and lending within the New Development Bank (NDB), known as the BRICS bank, including the exploration of alternative currencies to mitigate the risks of foreign exchange fluctuations.
3. Economic cooperation: The parties will also focus on improving economic ties between their diverse economies, engaging in discussions on trade, investment opportunities, energy cooperation, infrastructure development, the digital economy, and the job market. Additionally, the summit will include talks with leaders from other countries, with invitations extended to 67 leaders from Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Caribbean.
4. Global Outreach: The last day of the summit is expected to focus on talks with leaders from other countries. Invitations to attend the summit were extended to 67 leaders across Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Caribbean.
5. Focus on Africa: The theme, ‘BRICS and Africa,’ explores the relationship between BRICS nations and African countries. The summit seeks to enhance cooperation within the African Continental Free Trade Area for economic growth and shared prosperity.