Argentina may join BRICS' New Development Bank as soon as August
Argentina is on the path to becoming the newest member of the BRICS New Development Bank as early as August as the bloc expands.
Argentina could join the BRICS' New Development Bank (NDB) as early as August, Argentine news agency Telam reported on Thursday, citing Bank President Dilma Rousseff.
According to the agency, Rousseff relayed to Argentine Economy Minister Sergio Massa that a vote on Argentina's admission was formally authorized by the NDB's board of directors.
The NDB was established in 2014 at the group's annual summit, and it aims to boost resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and developing countries through loans, guarantees, and other financial tools.
This comes at a time when BRICS countries are de-dollarizing trade, as China and Brazil struck last week a deal to ditch the US dollar in their bilateral transactions, which is expected to reduce investment costs and develop economic ties between the two countries.
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Put forward by Brazil, the proposal is due to be discussed at the upcoming meeting of the board of directors set to take place at the beginning of August in South Africa.
BRICS - consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa - has seen a flock of countries intending to join, including Argentina, Iran, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Venezuela.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian received an invitation from South Africa to attend the upcoming BRICS summit last week.
After assuming the rotating BRICS presidency in January, South Africa will host the 15th BRICS summit from August 22 to 24.
It was reported earlier this week that South Africa would provide foreign officials attending the BRICS summit hosted by the country in August with diplomatic immunity.
Moreover, the foreign ministers of BRICS' founding member states said the bloc was open to new members in light of their aspirations for a greater say in international affairs.
"Our gathering must send out a strong message that the world is multipolar, that it is rebalancing and that old ways cannot address new situations," India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said during the opening remarks of the meeting in Capetown.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that more than a dozen countries have expressed interest in joining the bloc: saying that the group is still deliberating as they shape their approach.
"Indeed we discussed this issue [BRICS expansion] and I did discuss it with the [foreign] minister from Saudi Arabia this morning. As regards to the approach of BRICS, it is still being shaped, it is evolving," Lavrov said at a joint press conference after the meeting of BRICS foreign ministers.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu also voiced Beijing's interest in welcoming prospective applicants into the economic bloc. "We expect more countries to join our big family," Ma told a press conference.