BRICS Meeting: Iran Pushes for Common Currency — China, Russia Prioritize Settlements in Local Currencies

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The first BRICS sherpa meeting with 10 member states has kicked off in Russia with representatives from Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Egypt, and Ethiopia. China, Russia, and Iran are all advocating for the use of national currencies in trade settlements. Iran’s sherpa also expressed hope that a common BRICS currency will soon be operational.

BRICS Meeting With 10 Member States

The first BRICS sherpa meeting for 2024 under the chairmanship of Russia commenced on Tuesday in Moscow, with participation from 10 member states for the first time. In addition to, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, the economic bloc is joined by five new nations: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Egypt, and Ethiopia.

Iran’s sherpa and deputy foreign minister for economic diplomacy, Mehdi Safari, said at the meeting:

In the plans of 2024, I hope that these economic and financial pillars, especially banking and financial issues, payment systems, digital currency, common currency, exchanges with national currencies, etc., will speed up and become operational.

He also stressed the importance of strengthening the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), noting: “I emphasize once again that we in Iran have plans, and will implement the necessary plans, for active and innovative participation in this year’s program.”

Last year, there were reports that the BRICS economic bloc was planning to create a common currency. However, at the group’s leaders summit in August last year in Johannesburg, South Africa, the BRICS nations pushed for the use of national currencies to reduce reliance on the U.S. dollar, instead of discussing a common currency.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said at the BRICS sherpa meeting on Tuesday: “In line with the decision of the BRICS leaders in Johannesburg, we will explore ways to make greater use of national and local currencies and payment instruments in our cross-border transactions in order to reduce the negative side effects of the current global economic system.”

China’s BRICS sherpa and vice minister of foreign affairs, Ma Zhaoxu, similarly stated:

We should implement the leaders’ instructions, promote financial corporation as a strategic priority, expand settlements in local currencies, and strengthen linkage between payment systems.

Moreover, he revealed: “China is considering [the] possibility of launching a BRICS AI development and cooperation center in China.”

Do you think the BRICS nations will create a common currency this year? Let us know in the comments section below.

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