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Ethiopia Calls For Alternative BRICS Monetary System

The Ethiopian Ambassador to Russia, Cham Ugala Uriat has said that the BRICS members should work together to strengthen their economies, and create an alternative international monetary system, including an alternative to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He specifically stated that the Shanghai-based New Development Bank (NDB), established by the BRICS states and opened for business in 2015, should be strengthened so that it can “contribute to member states of BRICS,” the ambassador argued.  Uriat expressed confidence that this would enable the NDB to serve as an alternative to the IMF and the World Bank.

The BRICS group of emerging economies, previously comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, underwent a major expansion when Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates joined in January of this year. 

In February this year, the head of the NDB, Dilma Rousseff, noted that with the addition of the new members, the group’s share in global economic output will rise from the current 35% to 40% by 2028. This will make the BRICS grouping larger than the G7.

While the media concentrates on the development of a BRICS currency, Russia’s Pivot To Asia views that as unlikely for the time being and that the use of a basket of BRICS currencies, would come into play first prior to any currency discussions. It should be noted that the ten ASEAN nations continue to trade in their respective currencies without the need to have established an Asian version to the Euro.

However, Uriat’s calls for strengthening the NDB are more feasible. The has an increasing loan book and has concentrated mainly on green finance projects in its history, which have particular relevance for Africa.

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