Egypt PM Madbouly arrives in South Africa to attend BRICS summit

Ahram Online , Wednesday 23 Aug 2023

Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Wednesday to attend the 15th BRICS summit meetings on behalf of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

File Photo: Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly. Photo courtesy of The Egyptian Cabinet Facebook page.


Madbouly is due to attend the summit, themed “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism”, according to a cabinet statement.

The BRICS meetings kicked off on Tuesday and will last until Thursday, with the attendance of 50 world leaders, including the heads of state of South Africa, Brazil, India and China. Russia's President Vladimir Putin, who faces an international arrest warrant over alleged war crimes in Ukraine, did not attend in person and addressed the summit via video link.

Madbouly is scheduled to attend a banquet and cultural ceremony organized by South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa in honour of the visiting leaders and their delegations.

The Egyptian prime minister is set to deliver a speech during a high-level dialogue session on Thursday and will meet with representatives of a number of companies, noted the statement.

Building up the BRICS

BRICS leaders, now assembled in Johannesburg, are considering admitting new members to their five-nation bloc.

Officials say more than 40 countries have shown interest in joining from across the 'Global South', a broad term referring to nations outside the West.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Algeria and Turkey are among the countries that have submitted bids to join the BRICS group.

The BRICS group brings together the major emerging economies in the world, representing 41 percent of the world population, 24 percent of global GDP and over 16 percent of world trade, according to World Bank figures.

President El-Sisi participated in two BRICS summits, in 2017 and more recently in 2022 when Egypt was invited as a guest to the BRICS Plus High-Level Dialogue.

Earlier this year, Egypt joined the group's new BRICS Development Bank (NDB).

Established in 2015, the NDB is a multilateral development bank aimed at mobilizing resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS countries and other emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs).

Egyptian MPs welcomed the agreement allowing Egypt to officially join the new NDB, seeing it as a means to help reduce demand for US dollars.

"Egypt's joining of the BRICS Group's New Development Bank will relieve pressure on the state budget to find US dollars to pay for the country's imports, as members of the bank can use their national currencies in trade exchange," Deputy Chairman of the House's Economic Committee Mohamed Abdel-Hamid said at the time.

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