Detaching bilateral trade from Western currencies could strengthen intra-member cooperation, according to Redge Nkosi
Establishing a BRICS common currency is an ambitious long-term task, although a joint payment system for intra-member trade could easily be launched in the near term, according to Redge Nkosi, executive director and head of research at South African company Firstsource Money.
Speaking to RT on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in South Africa, he pointed out that Russia has already developed its own payment system, China and India are doing the same, and that there’s also a payment system in Latin America.
“We’ve got great leaders in BRICS, and my sense is they are committed to driving some of these things like common currency. But for now, in my view, it’s the common payment system that is easy to realize,” Nkosi said.
He argued that the fundamental challenge facing BRICS is the issue of international trade being conducted in foreign currencies. “For us that is a challenge, I think we should begin to unwind that. We need to have now a BRICS payment system that can unite all these countries. That is achievable.”
To overcome this challenge, BRICS members should focus on bilateral trade and financing, including multilateral financing within the group, Nkosi suggested.
“If you want to trade with Russia or with China, it shouldn’t be in any way constrained by using a third currency. To us that is very important if we could not only de-dollarize but assume our own independence from the shackles of the global economy which is constructed from the US or Western sphere,” he said.
The West is worried that the grip it has had on many countries, including those in BRICS, is slipping away, Nkosi claimed.
Asked about the key sectors that BRICS should prioritize within the group, he named energy and telecommunications, as well as infrastructure such as transport and logistics, which would facilitate the movement of people, capital, and goods.