Egypt: President Al-Sisi Talks to BRICS Bank Leaders

Following Turkey, Venezuela announces its decision to join BRICS

Gli scambi commerciali tra l’Egitto e i Paesi dei BRICS rappresentano circa un terzo del commercio egiziano con il mondo

On the sidelines of the First International Forum of the New Development Bank (NDB) of the BRICS group of countries, held in the new administrative capital of Cairo, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi received the head of the bank, Dilma Rousseff. The NDB Bank will conduct a joint analysis of the current situation and prospects between the lending institution and the North African country after it joined BRICS on January 1, 2024. The group, originally established in 2006 by Brazil, Russia, India, and China, was joined by South Africa in 2011, and in 2024 the international organization called BRICS+ expanded by five other countries (Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates).

Al-Sisi emphasized his pride in hosting the bank’s first international forum in Egypt, which discussed the efforts of the group’s financial arm “to facilitate transactions between member states in national currencies, introduce mechanisms to support the private sector, and discuss future opportunities for cooperation between the founders and the new BRICS countries.” So far, more than 30 countries, including Turkey and Venezuela, have expressed their desire to join the international organization or become trusted partners of BRICS+.

According to the International Monetary Fund, trade between Egypt and other BRICS countries accounts for about a third of Egypt’s foreign trade. Egyptian exports to this group increased by 5.3% in 2023, reaching $4.9 billion, while imports increased by 11.5% to $26.4 billion.

According to Rousseff, in the second half of 2024 and next year, the bank will provide $5 billion in financing to member countries and preferred partners of the group, of which a billion will be allocated to Egypt and Bangladesh. Vladimir Kazbekov, vice president and chief operating officer of the NDB, who took part in the talks with al-Sisi, recalled that the bank’s total portfolio currently stands at 45 billion dollars. They are directed to finance more than 100 projects, many of which are aimed at ensuring sustainable growth in developing economies.

Venezuela is “ready to join BRICS,” President Nicolas Maduro said, speaking on radio. “I’ve said it a few times, we’re doing it, and we’re going to make it work: Venezuela is joining BRICS. The information I received from Russia is amazing,” Maduro said, commenting on Foreign Minister Yvan Gil’s participation in the BRICS ministerial meeting held the other day in Russia. According to Maduro, “Venezuela is entering a new multipolar world after resisting sanctions and moving decisively toward an international organization that controls more than 35% of global GDP.”

New sanctions against Russia announced by the USA ahead of the G7 summit in Italy, as well as secondary retaliatory measures against banks that continue to do business with Russia, will not disrupt relations between Beijing and Moscow. China and Russia face “historic opportunities for cooperation,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during a meeting with Irkutsk Region Governor Igor Kobzev. The Chinese diplomatic chief said the region’s “rich natural resources and powerful industrial base” offer “unique advantages” for the development of already fruitful Russian-Chinese cooperation. It will be further expanded to include agriculture, energy, culture, public education, and tourism.