Parliament approves agreement allows Egypt to join BRICS group's New Development Bank

Gamal Essam El-Din , Sunday 29 Jan 2023

MPs approved Sunday an agreement that allows Egypt to officially join the new Development Bank to be set up by the BRICS economic group which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

Egyptian Parliament
Egyptian Parliament


Deputy chairman of the House's Economic Committee, Mohamed Abdel-Hamid, said that joining the BRICS group and its development bank benefits Egypt. "We will benefit from the Bank's financial and technical assistance in areas of sustainable development, health, infrastructure, transport, water and telecommunications," said Abdel-Hamid.

MPs highly welcomed the agreement, seeing in it a way to help reduce demand on US dollars.

"Egypt's joining of the BRICS Group's New Development Bank will also relieve the state budget of the pressure of finding US dollars to meet the country's imports as members of the Bank can use their national currencies in exchange for trade," said Abdel-Hamid.

MP Ahmed El-Awadi, head of the House's Defence and National Security Committee, said that the success of Egypt in joining the BRICS Group's New Development Bank reflects confidence in the Egyptian economy. It also represents a step in fighting the dollarisation phenomenon and opens new markets for Egypt's agricultural and industrial products.

MP Mervat Mattar said, "the BRICS group is an important forum that can steer the course of the international economy away from American domination and the US dollar." She added that "due to the war in Ukraine, we in Egypt have been suffering from a severe shortage of foreign exchange, particularly US dollars, to meet our import needs. This agreement comes to reduce demand on the US dollar and opens new horizons of economic cooperation with a big economic bloc like the BRICS group". She also praised Russia's central bank's decision one week ago to add the Egyptian pound to its list of foreign currencies officially set against the ruble. "I think that after joining the BRICS group and its new development bank, we will be able to conclude similar agreements with China, India, Brazil, and South Africa," said Mattar.

The BRICS group was formed by Brazil, Russia, India and China in 2006, while South Africa joined it in 2010. It is an independent international organisation that encourages trade and political and cultural cooperation among member states.

Egypt's president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi took part in the BRICS group's summits in 2017 and 2022. “I would like to express my appreciation for the BRICS group — a forum whose position is growing day by day at the international scene, considering the scope of the economies of its countries that represents more than 20% of the world’s gross domestic product [GDP]. This is in addition to their weight at the international fora, both political and economical, and their prominent role in enhancing cooperation between the southern countries," said El-Sisi last June.

President of the BRICS International Forum Purnima Anand announced last July that Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have submitted bids for joining the BRICS group. "The three countries have applied for membership of the group, and I think this is a good step because expansion is always positively perceived, and this will clearly increase the influence of BRICS in the world," said Anand in an interview. 



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