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The UAE marked on January 1 a new chapter in its multilateral economic partnership drive by officially joining the Brics alliance along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Ethiopia, paving the way for it to tap into a broader spectrum of global markets.
The UAE’s entry follows the ratification of its membership by the five founding nations, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, at the 15th Brics summit in August in Johannesburg. The addition of five countries has doubled the alliance, making it a formidable economic force accounting for a combined GDP of $28.5 trillion, or about 28 per cent of the global economy. The bloc has a collective population of about 3.5 billion or 45 per cent of the world’s population. Member countries of the alliance will also be producing about 44 per cent of the world’s crude oil.
For the Arab World’s second largest economy, the decision to become a Brics member reflects the country’s keenness to champion the value of multilateralism. Analysts believe that the membership will help the nation “to further develop its outreach, improve the flexibility of its international partnership portfolio, implement its major development plans, and empower its economic model.”
“This development forms part of the UAE’s commitment to promoting constructive dialogue through active platforms that represent developing and emerging economies,” Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, had said. “The UAE has consistently championed the value of multilateralism in supporting peace, security and development globally.”
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The entry into the powerful group comes amid widespread talks of a BRICS currency to replace the US dollar as a global reserve currency.
Economists said the alliance will enable the UAE to diversify its strategic options, alternatives, and partnerships, and broaden its investment and trade portfolios, allowing it a dynamic horizon. Moreover, it positions the UAE to dynamically engage with emerging economies, fostering mutual growth and cooperation,
“The UAE believes in championing multilateralism and actively contributing to important international arenas. This includes, apart from engaging with BRICS, participating regularly in the G20 process, and hosting the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) climate conference in November,” they said. The move underscores the UAE’s view that the future of global security and prosperity relies on strong multilateral partnerships and cooperation on the international level, and a shared commitment to achieving stability and development.
The UAE’s Brics entry marks the culmination of an ongoing partnership trajectory with this emerging bloc. The country joined the group’s New Development Bank in October 2021. In June 2023, the UAE actively participated in the Friends of the Brics forum in Cape Town. It was presided over by the BRICS host country under South Africa’s presidency.
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