UAE reveals BRICS bank-related plans

The United Arab Emirates is looking to its BRICS membership as an opportunity to develop trade and plans to commit more capital to the group’s New Development Bank (NDB), Economy Minister Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri told Bloomberg on Monday.

Abu Dhabi joined the NDB two years ago and is now among the six new members approved to join the BRICS community last week. Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates will become full-fledged members of the BRICS group of major emerging nations from January 2024.

The NDB was established in 2014 by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa with the aim of providing funding for infrastructure and sustainable development projects. The bank formally opened for business in 2015, and was later joined by Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Uruguay. Saudi Arabia is also in talks to become a member.

“We are actually going to push more” and will “indeed” inject capital into the bank, the UAE minister said, without specifying an amount.

According to Bloomberg, as one of the few countries to manage over $1 trillion in sovereign wealth capital the UAE represents a “potentially deep-pocketed contributor” for the NDB. “OPEC’s third-biggest producer can give more financial muscle to the BRICS lender formed as a counterweight to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank,” the outlet wrote.

Al Marri explained that the UAE will continue to develop trade with the West while boosting commerce with lesser-developed countries of the Global South.

BRICS membership is “huge to the UAE,” the minister stressed. “Joining BRICS will add a lot to the UAE multilateral support to the world. We are focusing on our global trade; the UAE has always been a global hub,” he concluded.

According to the analysis of global data by news outlets RBK and TASS, the combined gross domestic product (GDP) of the expanded BRICS in terms of purchasing power parity will be roughly $65 trillion. This would see the bloc’s share of global GDP rise from its current 31.5% to 37%. In comparison, the share of the G7 group of advanced economies is currently around 29.9%.

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