Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum

Monitoring of the economic, social and labor situation in the BRICS countries
Issue 2.2024
2024.01.08 — 2024.01.14
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's telephone conversation with Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China Wang Yi (Пресс-релиз о телефонном разговоре Министра иностранных дел С.В.Лаврова с Министром иностранных дел Китайской Народной Республики Ван И) / Russia, January, 2024
Keywords: foreign_minister_meeting, sergey_lavrov, wang_yi

On January 10, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China Wang Yi.

The ministers summed up and spoke positively of the key outcomes of cooperation in 2023, expressing satisfaction with the high tempo of the political dialogue and practical cooperation, which are marked by stability and positive dynamics amid the global geopolitical instability. They focused on the implementation of agreements reached at the top political level and highlighted the importance of Russian-Chinese strategic interaction to create a just multipolar international order and, in particular, to ensure that the foundations of Eurasian security are solid.

They noted that bilateral trade and economic cooperation has successfully overcome external challenges, with Russia-China trade passing the $200 billion mark as of the end of the year, and discussed the importance of expanding cooperation between the EAEU and the Belt and Road project.

The interest of both countries in further building up humanitarian ties in sports, education, science, cultural exchanges, and international performing arts competitions was reaffirmed.

Sergey Lavrov and Wang Yi touched on a number of priority items on the international agenda, including the Ukraine crisis, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula and the Asia-Pacific region in general. They underscored their rejection of the Western bloc's confrontational policy towards Russia and China, and the attempts to hold back their development using sanctions, deliberate provocations and other illegitimate means. They also noted the purely constructive nature of interaction between Moscow and Beijing within the UN, the SCO, BRICS and other multilateral formats, which is not directed against third countries. The Chinese side expressed support for Russia's BRICS chairmanship. The ministers exchanged views on ways to facilitate China's contacts with the CIS.

The conversation once again confirmed the two countries' broadly consonant approaches to international affairs and their commitment to continue maintaining close coordination in the international arena.

The ministers reviewed the schedule of upcoming high-level and highest-level contacts.

                BRICS member South Africa takes Zionism to court (Член БРИКС ЮАР подает на сионизм в суд) / UAE, January, 2024
                Keywords: political_issues, expert_opinion

                Nothing less than the full concept of international law will be on trial this week in The Hague. The whole world is watching.

                It took an African nation, not an Arab or Muslim nation, but significantly a BRICS member, to try to break the iron chains deployed by Zionism via fear, financial might, and non-stop threats, enslaving not only Palestine but substantial swathes of the planet.

                By a twist of historical poetic justice, South Africa, a nation that knows one or two things about apartheid, had to take the moral high ground and be the first to file a suit against apartheid Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

                The 84-page lawsuit, exhaustively argued, fully documented, and filed on 29 December 2023, details all the ongoing horrors perpetrated in the occupied Gaza Strip and followed by everyone with a smartphone around the planet.

                South Africa asks the ICJ – a UN mechanism – something quite straightforward: Declare that the state of Israel has breached all its responsibilities under international law since 7 October.

                And that, crucially, includes a violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention, according to which genocide consists of "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group."

                South Africa is supported by Jordan, Bolivia, Turkiye, Malaysia, and significantly the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which combines the lands of Islam, and constitutes 57 member states, 48 of these harboring a Muslim majority. It's as if these nations were representing the overwhelming majority of the Global South.

                Whatever happens at The Hague could go way beyond a possible condemnation of Israeli for genocide. Both Pretoria and Tel Aviv are members of the ICJ – so the rulings are binding. The ICJ, in theory, carries more weight than the UN Security Council, where the US vetoes any hard facts that tarnish Israel's carefully constructed self-image.

                The only problem is that the ICJ does not have enforcement power.

                What South Africa, in practical terms, is aiming to achieve is to have the ICJ impose on Israel an order to stop the invasion – and the genocide – right away. That should be the first priority.

                A specific intent to destroy

                Reading the full South African application is a horrifying exercise. This is literally history in the making, right in front of us living in the young, tech-addicted, 21st century, and not a science fiction account of a genocide taking place in some distant universe.

                Pretoria's application carries the merit of drawing The Big Picture, "in the broader context of Israel's conduct towards Palestinians during its 75-year-long apartheid, its 56-year-long belligerent occupation of Palestinian territory, and its 16-year-long blockade of Gaza."

                Cause, effect, and intent are clearly delineated, transcending the horrors that have been perpetrated since the Palestinian resistance's Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 7 October, 2023.

                Then there are "acts and omissions by Israel which are capable of amounting to other violations of international law." South Africa lists them as "genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent (dolus specialis) to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnic group."

                'The Facts,' introduced from page 9 of the application, are brutal – ranging from the indiscriminate massacre of civilians to mass expulsion: "It is estimated that over 1.9 million Palestinians out of Gaza's population of 2.3 million people – approximately 85 percent of the population – have been forced from their homes. There is nowhere safe for them to flee to, those who cannot leave or refuse to be displaced have been killed or are at extreme risk of being killed in their homes."

                And there will be no turning back: "As noted by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Gaza's housing and civilian infrastructure have been razed to the ground, frustrating any realistic prospects for displaced Gazans to return home, repeating a long history of mass forced displacement of Palestinians by Israel."

                The complicit Hegemon

                Item 142 of the application may encapsulate the whole drama: "The entire population is facing starvation: 93 percent of the population in Gaza is facing crisis levels of hunger, with more than one in four facing catastrophic condition" – with death imminent.

                Against this backdrop, on 25 December – Christmas day – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doubled down on his genocidal rhetoric, promising: 'We are not stopping, we are continuing to fight and we are deepening the fighting in the coming days, and this will be a long battle and it is not close to being over."

                So, "as a matter of extreme urgency," and "pending the Court's determination of this case on the merits," South Africa is asking for provisional measures, the first of which will be for "the state of Israel to immediately suspend its military operations in and against Gaza."

                This amounts to a permanent ceasefire. Every grain of sand from the Negev to Arabia knows that the neocon psychos in charge of US foreign policy, including their pet, remote-controlled, senile occupant of the White House are not only complicit in the Israeli genocide but oppose any possibility of a ceasefire.

                Incidentally, such complicity is also punishable by law, according to the Genocide Convention.

                Hence, it is a given that Washington and Tel Aviv will go no-holds-barred to block a fair trial by the ICJ, using every means of pressure and threat available. That dovetails with the extremely limited power exercised by any international court to impose the rule of international law on the exceptionalist Washington–Tel Aviv combo.

                While an alarmed Global South is moved to action against Israel's unprecedented military assault on Gaza, where over 1 percent of the population has been murdered in less than three months, the Israeli Foreign Ministry has regimented its embassies to arm-twist host country diplomats and politicians to swiftly issue an "immediate and unequivocal statement along the following lines: To publicly and clearly state that your country rejects the outrageous, absurd, and baseless allegations made against Israel."

                It will be quite enlightening to see which nations will abide by the order.

                Whether Pretoria's current efforts succeed or not, this case is likely to be only the first of its kind filed in courts around the world in the months and even years ahead. The BRICS – of which South Africa is a crucial member state – are part of the new swell of international organizations challenging western hegemony and its 'rules-based order.' These rules mean nothing; nobody has even seen them.

                In part, multipolarism has emerged to redress the decades-long shift away from the UN Charter and rush toward the lawlessness embodied in these illusory 'rules.' The nation-state system that underpins the global order cannot function without the international law that secures it. Without the law, we face war, war, and more war; the Hegemon's ideal universe of endless war, in fact.

                South Africa's genocide case against Israel is blatantly necessary to reverse these flagrant violations of the international system, and will almost certainly be the first of many such litigations against both Israel and its allies to shift the world back to stability, security, and common sense.

                              For BRICS, pursuit of multipolarity is not akin to 'anti-Westernism' (Для БРИКС стремление к многополярности не сродни «антизападничеству».) / China, January, 2024
                              Keywords: brics+, global_govrenance, expert_opinion

                              During its chairmanship of BRICS this year, Russia will champion the vision of a global systemic transition to multipolarity in the hundreds of events that it has planned before the group's summit in Kazan sometime in October. The brief US-led unipolar moment that occurred in the aftermath of the Soviet Union's dissolution gradually gave way over the past three decades to a more equitable distribution of influence in the international system.

                              This complex process unprecedentedly accelerated since the start of Russia's special operation in February 2022. This prompted the West to impose sanctions on Russia and it put pressure on other countries to follow suit. Many countries retained their mutually beneficial ties with Russia and refused to impose such sanctions. They refused to abide by the West's demands, not because they were choosing to stand in solidarity with Russia's special operation, but out of economic pragmatism, choosing to exercise their sovereignty. This had a significant impact on the world.

                              At this point in the global systemic transition, there's no longer any doubt among objective observers that multipolarity is inevitable, though it'll still take a lot of time for this world order to fully emerge. Western hegemony was broken by the majority of the international community defying its pressure to sanction Russia, and all those countries also saw how the West weaponized financial instruments and waged information warfare against Russia. None of them want to go back to unipolarity.

                              These observations explain why dozens of countries sought to join BRICS last year, which resulted in the organization's Johannesburg Summit doubling the number of permanent members to 10 after Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were invited to join. Argentina was also offered this opportunity too, but newly elected President Javier Milei declined the offer. Nevertheless, the group's expansion generated enormous attention from the global media, including some negative coverage.

                              Iran's newfound membership and Russia's chairmanship this year prompted some Western commentators as well as those across the Global South with unipolar worldviews to fearmonger that BRICS is becoming an "anti-Western bloc." This narrative aims to scare their audience about the intentions of its members so as to precondition them for supporting some Western reaction that has yet to materialize. Simply put, it is baseless rabblerousing, but some people are still regrettably influenced by this claim.

                              For that reason, it's important to debunk this false perception while clarifying that the pursuit of multipolarity isn't akin to "anti-Westernism" in any objective way, but only in a zero-sum hegemonic one. To begin with, apart from Iran and Russia, the rest of the group's members either have relatively cordial or excellent ties with the US. This includes China, which just held its first military talks with the US in more than two years and whose leader President Xi Jinping met with US President Joe Biden as recently as November.

                              Second, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed in an interview late last month that "BRICS is not an organization, but an association." Such a difference is more important than observers might think since an organization implies official obligations while cooperation within an association is purely voluntary. Accordingly, it's unrealistic to imagine that those member countries that enjoy relatively cordial or excellent ties with the US would go along with any speculative anti-Western proposals during Russia's chairmanship.

                              Third, BRICS' modus operandi has evolved in recent years to focus on the acceleration of financial multipolarity processes, particularly prioritizing the use of national currencies and pioneering non-Western payment systems that can't be weaponized against members like SWIFT was against Russia. This form of cooperation is apolitical and driven by shared financial interests that combine to speed up the emergence of a more equitable global system. It's not directed against anyone, but is for all their people.

                              And finally, the last point to make builds upon the preceding one, and it's to explicitly clarify that none of the abovementioned factors are "anti-Western" in any objective way, only in a hegemonic zero-sum one. Those among the Western elites who remain under the delusion of their self-perceived "supremacy" over others feel upset with how multipolar processes erode their global dominance. However, in reality, the reduction of international inequality stabilizes the world and makes it a better place for the West too.

                              Less inequality leads to less mistrust between the Global South and the West, thus reducing tensions between the former's major countries and the latter's de facto US leader. The resultant conditions are conducive to mutually beneficial cooperation based on each party's complementarities, which in turn creates relations of complex interdependence that are difficult for any side to unilaterally "decouple" from. This solidifies trust and leads to more predictable relations across the board.

                              The problem with contemporary international relations is that the Western elites don't want to admit that unipolarity is over and their hegemony won't return, hence why they continue aggressively pushing back against multipolar processes, albeit in vain but still with much damage. This delusional and recalcitrant attitude is destabilizing the world at precisely the moment when all responsible members of the international community must work as closely together as possible to stabilize it.

                              As the global systemic transition to multipolarity rolls on, which is expected to be boosted in no small part by Russia's BRICS chairmanship this year, international inequality will be further reduced with all that entails for restoring balance to relations between the Global South and the West. This envisaged outcome isn't "anti-Western" but pro-humanity since it will gradually stabilize global affairs to everyone's benefit. Far from being the hostile bloc that critics fearmonger that it is, BRICS is exactly what the world needs right now.

                                            BRICS can help promote a fairer world order (БРИКС может способствовать установлению более справедливого мирового порядка) / China, January, 2024
                                            Keywords: brics+, global_governance

                                            BRICS is focused on building a fairer world order for the Global South. The United States and its Western allies have long dominated the world order, imposing their own values and policies on the rest of the world in the name of promoting "democracy" and "defending" human rights while smearing countries whose political systems are different from theirs. Worse, they have been bullying some emerging market and developing economies, forcing them to take sides in disputes with countries that don't adhere to the Western-centric ideology and policies.

                                            There is no justification for killing innocent civilians, whether by Hamas or Israeli forces. Both Hamas and Israeli forces should be condemned for their actions. However, the Global South has been witness to the US' double standard, as seen in its support for Israel's invasion of the Gaza Strip despite pressuring the Global South earlier to take sides and condemn Russia for its actions in Ukraine.

                                            The US even vetoed a United Nations Security Council draft resolution for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Thirteen Security Council members voted in favour of a brief draft resolution put forward by the United Arab Emirates, while the United Kingdom abstained. Clearly, war is a business for some Western countries which spend hundreds of billions of dollars to advance their interests both at home and abroad.

                                            In contrast, China, through its Global Security Initiative, has taken multiple steps to fulfil its commitment to global peace and sustainable development. It is due to the arduous efforts of China that Iran and Saudi Arabia re-established diplomatic ties on March 10, 2023, seven years after severing ties.

                                            The Global South wants to improve the existing world order because it is unfair and Western-centric. With the reform of the world order high on its agenda, the BRICS member states, which now comprise the five original BRICS members (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and five new members (Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE). At the last BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August 2023, the original BRICS leaders admitted six new members — effective from Jan 1, 2024 — but Argentina recently announced it would not join BRICS now.

                                            The BRICS member states together accounted for more than 40 percent of the global population and over 25 percent of global GDP. With five new members, BRICS will further counterbalance the G7's global influence as its share of global GDP will increase to 36 percent while it will account for nearly half of the world's population.

                                            With more than 30 economies ready to deepen relations with the grouping, BRICS is committed to strengthening the Global South coalition as a collective force and upholding multipolarism in order to help establish a world order that is not dominated by the US and its allies.

                                            The inclusion of five new members will add to BRICS' weight, extend its global influence and strengthen trade ties with a wide range of emerging market and developing economies by establishing a fair payment system which cannot be exploited by the US and its Western allies.

                                            The weaponization of the US dollar has helped Washington maintain its global economic and geopolitical supremacy. The US has imposed economic sanctions on nearly 40 countries, including Cuba, Russia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran and Venezuela, apart from levying sanctions, punitive tariffs and export controls measures on China, affecting nearly half of the world's population and causing untold hardships to ordinary people in those countries, thus hampering their economic growth. These are the prime reasons why many emerging market economies have been calling for global trade to be conducted in currencies other than the dollar.

                                            If BRICS' plan to adopt a common currency to conduct global trade is successful, it will have a huge impact on the US dollar as a default international currency, because the 10 member states of BRICS account for 36 percent of global GDP. In fact, a common BRICS currency could be a game-changer; it could break the dollar's global hegemony and make it easy for emerging economies to conduct free trade in currencies other than the dollar.

                                            Whether the US and its Western allies like it or not, the world order is changing, and the Global South is emerging as a key player in international relations. So the US and its Western allies should heed the Global South's concerns and help build a global governance system and financial architecture which benefits all.

                                            The author is a director of BRISL, an independent and pioneering Sri Lankan-led organization, with strong expertise in BRI advice and support.

                                            The views don't necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

                                            If you have a specific expertise, or would like to share your thought about our stories, then send us your writings at, and

                                                          Further BRICS integration not affected by Argentina bowing out of group — Brazilian envoy (Выход Аргентины из группы не повлияет на дальнейшую интеграцию БРИКС – посол Бразилии) / Russia, January, 2024
                                                          Keywords: brics+, Brazil, expert_opinion, quotation

                                                          Further BRICS integration not affected by Argentina bowing out of group — Brazilian envoy

                                                          Susan Kleebank added that "BRICS is a very firm and consolidated organization"

                                                          BUDAPEST, January 12. /TASS/. Argentina's decision to reject the opportunity to join BRICS will not affect the further integration of the intergovernmental group, which will continue to expand due to strong interest among many countries, TASS learned from foreign diplomats attending the "BRICS and Friends" reception hosted on Thursday by Russian Ambassador to Hungary Yevgeny Stanislavov to mark the New Year's holiday, which also coincided with the launch of Moscow's turn at holding the rotating BRICS chairmanship in 2024.

                                                          Commenting on the recent decision by new Argentinian President Javier Milei to turn down the group's invitation to Buenos Aires to join BRICS, Susan Kleebank, the Brazilian ambassador to Budapest, said that, "it would not affect the integration as it is strong itself." "BRICS is a very firm and consolidated organization," the diplomat added.

                                                          In turn, South African Ambassador to Hungary Gangumzi Mattias Tsengiwe said it was entirely possible that the issue of Argentina's membership could be revisited in the long run "depending on what government holds power" in the South American country. However, he noted, the critical thing is that "the expansion of BRICS is a process that can hardly be stopped." "The expansion is a very important principle" underlying integration-related activities, the South African diplomat stressed.

                                                          The BRICS group, established in 2006, first expanded in 2011, when South Africa joined the four founding nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China. The decision to invite six more countries to join BRICS, including Argentina, was made at the group's summit in Johannesburg in August 2023. However, Argentina declined the invitation to join in late December. Five new members (Egypt, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia) formally became full-fledged members of the BRICS group on January 1. Russia assumed BRICS' one-year rotating chairmanship on the same day.

                                                                        China ready to work with Russia to strengthen role of BRICS — top diplomat (Китай готов работать с Россией над усилением роли БРИКС — топ-дипломат) / Russia, January, 2024
                                                                        Keywords: China, Russia, cooperation, quotation

                                                                        Beijing seeks to propel multilateral cooperation at BRICS to a higher quality level, Wang Yi specified

                                                                        BEIJING, January 11. /TASS/. The Chinese authorities fully support the idea of holding a BRICS summit under Russia's presidency this year and are ready to cooperate with Russia to strengthen the grouping's global posture, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

                                                                        "China fully supports the Russian Federation as this year's BRICS chair in successfully holding a BRICS summit and is ready to work with Russia to bolster the international influence of the grouping," Wang told his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in a telephone conversation.

                                                                        Beijing seeks to propel multilateral cooperation at BRICS to a higher quality level, China's top diplomat specified.

                                                                        The BRICS group, established in 2006, first expanded in 2011, when South Africa joined the four founding nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Five new members (Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) formally became full-fledged members of the BRICS group on January 1. Russia assumed BRICS' one-year rotating chairmanship on the same day.

                                                                                      Investment and Finance
                                                                                      Investment and finance in BRICS
                                                                                      Revisiting the case for a South African Sovereign Wealth Fund (Возвращаясь к аргументам в пользу Южноафриканского суверенного фонда благосостояния) / Russia, January, 2024
                                                                                      Keywords: economic_challenges, expert_opinion

                                                                                      There is one encouraging trend that seems to be taking on greater prominence in the world economy, namely the rising number of countries that are creating their very own sovereign wealth funds (SWFs). One of the recent cases is Ireland, an economy that has been successful in attracting MNCs and deriving the corresponding fiscal benefits. The latter are to be directed into the Future Ireland Fund that is expected to reach 100 bn euros by 2035 and is to finance future pension, healthcare and climate costs[1]. In the UK at the end of 2023 proposals were advanced "that the UK establishes a sovereign wealth fund once the UK government reaches a budget surplus. Contributions to the fund would come from an element of income tax, and over the long term it would fund liabilities in the UK's pensions and benefits system"[2]. The idea of an own SWF has also been actively discussed within the EU in the course of 2023. It seems that for once the developed economies are playing catch-up to the developing world that has dominated the SWF scene in the past several decades. But despite all the advances of the Global South in promoting the creation of SWFs, there remain important gaps in the SWF map of the developing world, most notably with respect to South Africa.

                                                                                      It has been noted long before that of all of the BRICS5 economies South Africa was the only member without a sovereign wealth fund[3]. After the expansion of 2024, it turns out that even in an expanded BRICS10 setting, South Africa is still the only member of the bloc without such an SWF. Iran created its Sovereign Development Fund of Iran in 2011. Of the new BRICS+ members all African members, namely Egypt and Ethiopia, have their very own SWFs. The Sovereign Fund of Egypt was established in 2018 (with amendments adopted in 2020), while in Ethiopia the Ethiopian Investment Holdings (EIH) was created in December 2021. Importantly, the Egyptian SWF is cooperating closely with its BRICS+ peers from Saudi Arabia (PIF) and the UAE (ADQ) to advance private sector development.

                                                                                      The process of launching new SWFs in Africa continued in 2023, including in the broader South African region. In December 2023 lawmakers in Mozambique approved the creation of the country sovereign wealth fund on the back of expected increases in proceeds from LNG exports[4]. Earlier in 2022 Namibia, another neighbor of South Africa, created its own SWF. All other major neighbors of South Africa in the region, namely Botswana (Pula Fund) and Zimbabwe, also have their SWF platforms. Overall, Africa has nearly 20 sovereign wealth funds[5], something that is leading to the creation of a platform for African SWFs. This platform has been formed "between IE University, the UN Joint SDG Fund (a UN flagship global fund that is supercharging the United Nations Development System around the world), and the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds [that] launched an Initiative to connect SWFs with SDG Impact Investing"[6]. While thus far the Initiative focusses on the African SWFs, it is expected to be broadened to other regions of the world economy in the future.

                                                                                      The creation of a South African SWF as well as the formation of a platform for SWFs whether among the BRICS+ or within the broader G20 ambit has been one of my long-standing calls since 2018-2020[7]. In order for the BRICS+ platform for SWFs to be complete, South Africa needs to finally catch up with the progress on this front attained by its neighbors as well as the broader developing world. Of greater importance than the completion of the BRICS+ SWF puzzle is of course the need for South Africa to improve the quality of its economic policies. While the effects of such sovereign wealth funds vary across countries depending on their design and operational modalities, international best practice amply shows that SWFs can perform the role of anchors of macroeconomic stability and fiscal policy rules.

                                                                                      At this juncture, South Africa is experiencing difficulties with launching such a SWF in view of the scarcity of fiscal reserves and mounting fiscal pressures on the expenditure side. According to Fitch, "the government's medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) raised the projected fiscal deficit for FY24 to 4.9% of GDP, from 4% in the 2023 Budget", while government debt is projected over the medium term to reach nearly 78% of GDP[8]. Despite such constraints, proposals have been put forward regarding the possible sources of capitalizing a South African SWF – one such proposal was advanced by the Alternative Information Development Center to use the resources of the Government Employee Pension Fund to capitalize such a SWF for South Africa[9]. If domestic sources prove to be limited then the question is: could the expanded BRICS+ provide assistance to South Africa in launching such a fund that would deliver the longer term benefits of improving the quality of the country's economic policy?

                                                                                      Among the possibilities could be assistance from the BRICS CRA that could provide support to South Africa in the amount of up to USD 10 bn, with the potential instruments so far being limited to the precautionary and liquidity facilities. These two instruments are similar to the IMF's Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL), with the IMF's array of facilities being far more diverse compared to the BRICS CRA[10]. There could be a need to expand the available instruments of BRICS CRA to include facilities similar to the IMF's Flexible Credit Line via introducing amendments into the Treaty for the Establishment of a BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement. The accession of countries such as Ethiopia as well as Egypt further increases the need to explore the modalities of expanding the tool-kit of instruments available for the BRICS grouping to support its members.

                                                                                      In the end, a sovereign wealth fund for South Africa would benefit the quality of the country's macroeconomic policies, particularly if it is predicated on the operation of fiscal rules that serve to limit the growth in public debt/fiscal deficits. The creation of such a fund would also enable South Africa to participate in the platforms and initiatives that bring together SWFs in Africa as well as within the BRICS/BRICS+ or UN/SDG frameworks. Support from a reinvigorated BRICS CRA could provide additional fiscal space for South Africa in launching its SWF. Waiting for favourable changes in terms of trade to launch such a SWF may result in precious time being lost – the creation of the fund (even if limited in size) may advance not only greater fiscal discipline, but could also improve investor sentiment and the credibility of the authorities' macroeconomic policy framework.

                                                                                                    IMF welcomes BRICS expansion — spokesperson (МВФ приветствует расширение БРИКС — представитель) / Russia, January, 2024
                                                                                                    Keywords: trade_relations, quotation

                                                                                                    "We are a supporter of countries working together, finding ways to trade, to become integrated, so that more people can benefit from the gains of global integration," Julie Kozack said

                                                                                                    WASHINGTON, January 11. /TASS/. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is supporting expansion of BRICS to make use of the advantage of global integration, IMF Spokesperson Julie Kozack said at a regular briefing for reporters.

                                                                                                    "We do welcome countries working together," Kozack said, responding to a request to comment on BRICS expansion. "We are a supporter of countries working together, finding ways to trade, to become integrated, so that more people can benefit from the gains of global integration. So to the extent that different country groupings enable more integration and more global cooperation, those are goals that we support," she noted.

                                                                                                    Egypt, Iran, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia started the full-fledged work in BRICS since January 1 of this year.

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