RIYADH: In a bid to enhance trade and economic cooperation, Egypt has officially applied to join the five-member BRICS bloc of emerging economies, according to Georgy Borizenko, the Russian ambassador to Cairo.
The BRICS group comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
“Egypt has applied to join the BRICS group because one of the initiatives that BRICS is currently engaged in is the maximum transfer of trade to alternative currencies, whether national or the creation of some kind of joint currency. Egypt is very interested in this,” said Borizenko.
The Russian envoy also added that Egypt wants to boost ties with Russia.
“New payment mechanisms are being created for trade transactions,” he added.
The confirmation regarding Egypt’s request to join BRICS comes a few days after the foreign ministers of member states held a meeting in Cape Town, which also witnessed the attendance of diplomats from other countries, including Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
In February, Egypt joined the BRICS New Development Bank, which could boost the country’s infrastructure and solve its ongoing economic crisis. Lawmakers of the country welcomed this step as it could help the crisis-hit nation to reduce demand for US dollars.
On June 13, Egyptian Supply Minister Ali Moselhy said that the country is planning to pay for imports from India, China and Russia in their local currencies instead of the US dollar.
“Nothing of the sort has been implemented, but there are discussions so that we can trade in local currencies of countries like India, Russia or China,” said Moselhy, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s annual urban consumer inflation rate in May accelerated to 32.7 percent from 30.6 percent in April, primarily driven by increased food prices, according to the country’s statistics agency CAPMAS.
The report stated that Egypt’s month-on-month urban inflation also witnessed a surge, as it went up to 2.7 percent in May from 1.7 percent in April.