The BRICS Summit held this August in Johannesburg invited six new countries to join the bloc. Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Iran, and Ethiopia are joining Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The news was welcomed with enthusiasm by fresh produce exporters in Egypt, says Muhammad Shaker, marketing manager of AlMansi.
Shaker declared, "The accession to BRICS is above all a recognition of Egypt's position as a center of influence in Africa, and will enhance our role as a commercial crossroads between Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Joining BRICS therefore heralds the birth of new intercontinental trade treaties, from which we will benefit as a major origin of certain agricultural products."
The exporter continues, "It also offers Egypt a diversification source of financing, with easier conditions and procedures than those of the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund, giving us increased liquidity and security in the face of crises."
BRICS membership comes as a forgone conclusion, as trade between Egypt and the BRICS countries has taken a big step forward in recent years. Shaker says, "According to official Egyptian government statistics, trade between Egypt and the BRICS countries grew by 10.5% in 2022 alone. Joining the bloc will offer the tools to further boost Egyptian agricultural exports to major markets for us, such as Russia, India, and China."
"In the short term, we will see as soon as next year the results terms of Egyptian agricultural export volumes, which are set to increase. Regarding the currency of trade, there were ongoing discussions to replace the dollar with the Egyptian pound, the ruble, and the rupee, for strategic products including certain agricultural products. BRICS membership offers a favorable climate for these discussions."
"As an exporter of fresh produce, I hope that membership is translated as soon as possible into the implementation of customs relief and facilitation of payment terms. I also hope that there will be no negative counter-effects on the Egyptian market."