“Africa important partner in India’s rise…”: BRICS Sherpa

BRICS Sherpa

JOHANNESBURG: India’s cost-effective approach has the potential to contribute to the economic activities within Africa, as a result of which it becomes an important partner in New Delhi’s rise, India’s BRICS Sherpa Dammu Ravi said ahead of the summit in Johannesburg.

BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The BRICS summit will take place from August 22-24 under South Africa’s presidency.

The 1989-batch Indian Foreign Service officer further said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken the Global South agenda much further under India’s G20 Presidency.

Speaking to ANI, Dammu Ravi said, “This is first-time since 2019, the post-Covid pandemic that the leaders are meeting in person. From India’s point of view, this is the third time PM Modi is visiting South Africa. And this year also marks the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between India and South Africa”.

The BRICS Sherpa further said that PM Modi has been emphasising the role of Africa as an important partner in India’s growth, as a result of which the African Union has also been invited to be a member of G20.

“India’s rise, as Prime Minister has very clearly envisaged and envisioned, that we will soon be the third largest economy in the world. But you also need many partners to ensure that the rise is smooth and sustainable. And Africa becomes an important partner in the rise of India. Africa has many complementaries to the Indian economy. That is what Prime Minister is emphasising. India’s low-cost relation can be helpful for economic activity within Africa,” Ravi said.

He added, “PM Modi has taken the Global South agenda much further…Most importantly, Prime Minister has invited the African Union to be a member of the G20. The African leaders are excited. There will be more than 50 African leaders present during the summit and that would be a great opportunity to discuss this thrust that PM Modi has made”.

Ravi said that there are multiple issues like BRICS expansion and a national currency that are on the agenda, and from India’s perspective, issues concerning Global South will also be on focus.

“From India’s point of view, development dimension and issues that are so crucial and critical for the Global South, on which Prime Minister’s visionary leadership is always emphasising…that the solutions and the challenges of the Global South, that we all have to collectively work together,” he said.

Explaining in detail, the officer, said BRICS expansion discussion is going on for the last two years.

“Earlier there was no thought that Brics would be extended. As the world is changing in the 21st century, all the developing countries together decided for the expansion of Brics keeping in mind their agenda items and economic development,” said the IFS officer. “But, for this, guidelines, as well as criteria, are needed.”

As per Ravi, India has been “constructive” in this work and we have taken the first initiative at the Sherpa level. “Currently, we cannot say which country can be part of the expansion. It will be decided after thorough discussion by all the leaders and the country which has to be brought into Brics. Before the expansion, it would be kept in mind that the country can cooperate in the development and in the expansion of BRICS.”

As far as the inclusion of national currency in trading is concerned, the officer said, it is not new and it has already happened.

“There is an opportunity for trading in your national currency. All the BRICS countries together will take this decision and discuss that they can trade in their national currency in these BRICS countries.”

PM Modi will join the leaders of Brazil, China and South Africa for the 15th Brics Summit. Russian President Vladimir Putin will join the meeting virtually while the Russian delegation will be led by foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.

He will also participate in a special event with the theme “Brics – Africa outreach and Brics plus dialogue”. This is being organised after the BRICS Summit and will include dozens of countries, mostly from the African continent, invited by South Africa. (ANI)

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