Saudi Arabia is reportedly negotiating its entry into the BRICS’ New Development Bank (NDB), potentially making itself the ninth member of the organization.
According to a report from The Financial Times, the Saudis, which have not made any official comments on the talks, are now in an active dialogue with the bank.
The NDB was set up as an alternative to the US dollar-run global financial system, and aims to support public and private projects in BRICS nations through loans, equity participation and other methods.
BRICS consists of Brasil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, with other nations reportedly on the verge of joining.
The NDB confirmed to FT its talks with Saudi Arabia.
“In the Middle East, we attach great importance to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and are currently engaged in a qualified dialogue with them.”
Ashwani Muthoo, director-general of the NDB’s independent evaluation office, says the bank remains in the early days of gathering resources.
“[Fundraising is] the most important thing at the moment… We are struggling to mobilize resources.”
Muthoo declined to comment on the NDB’s conversations with the Saudis, but says his department is looking at “alternative instruments and currencies” to bring in more resources to the bank.
“We will have to analyse the Russia situation, the war… these are the kinds of things we’ll have to look at.”
Earlier this month, Brasil president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said at a G7 meeting that BRICS should have its own currency for trade relations between the countries in the coalition.
“Why can’t an institution like the BRICS bank have a currency to finance trade relations between Brazil and China, between Brazil and all the other BRICS countries? Who decided that the dollar was the [trade] currency after the end of gold parity?”
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