Egypt will urge trade in national currencies within BRICS: Sisi's representative to bloc

Ahram Online , Tuesday 13 Feb 2024

Egypt is planning to urge BRICS member states to trade in their national currencies, according to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, quoting the newly appointed Personal Representative of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to the BRICS Summit Ambassador Ragy El-Etreby.

Sergei Ryabkov & Ragy El-Etreby
File Photo: Sergei Ryabkov - Representative of President Vladimir Putin to the BRICS Summit with Ambassador El-Etreby - Personal Representative of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to the BRICS Summit. Photo courtesy of Egyptian cabinet.


El-Etreby indicated that dealing in national currencies would alleviate the rising costs of using foreign currencies as a result of the high global inflation.

The ambassador said he has been directed by the presidency to promote industrial, agricultural and service cooperation between the bloc’s nations.

El-Etreby is the assistant foreign minister for international and regional economic affairs.

Global economy at crossroads

He highlighted that the global economy is at a crossroads in light of the severe and successive international crises over the past four years, which have had unprecedented repercussions on the economies of developing nations.

Egypt officially became a member of the BRICS bloc of major emerging economies in January. This year, Russia is chairing the alliance, which now compromises 10 countries following its expansion during the 15th BRICS summit last August.

The BRICS states are actively seeking to deepen trade among themselves in local currencies to avoid dollar exchange rate fluctuations.

Last August, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called for creating a common BRICS currency for trade and investment.

Egypt has long maintained strong trade relations with many BRICS countries, including Russia, India, China, and Brazil, the founders of the bloc.

BRICS also includes South Africa, Ethiopia, Iran, and the UAE.

Official data from 2022 and 2023 shows that Egypt's trade exchange with BRICS members, including both founding and new members, amounts to $46.673 billion, which is more than one-third of the country's total external trade.

Engaging in G20 meetings

El-Etreby also assumed responsibility as the personal representative of the Egyptian president at the Group of 20 (G20).

During the G20 meetings, Egypt will seek to highlight the priority issues in Egypt, Africa, and other developing nations, El-Etreby stated.

Among these topics will be enhancing food and energy security, developing international debt governance, ensuring international financing for development, and reforming the multilateral financial, monetary, and trade system.

El-Etreby said that the members of each of the G20 and BRICS believe that Egypt has a clear vision and contribution to ensure multilateral economic reform.

In December, the Brazilian government invited Egypt to participate as a guest in all G20 meetings during Brazil's presidency of the group, which started in December and will last for one year.

Egypt's participation in the G20 meetings is the fourth of its kind since the establishment of the group and the second in a row after Egypt participated in the previous G20 meetings upon an invitation from the Indian presidency.

The 2024 G20 summit will take place in Rio de Janeiro’s Museum of Modern Art on November 18-19.

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