The use of the US dollar in trade between BRICS member states is decreasing as they move towards national currencies, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.
Speaking via video link to participants at the start of the three-day BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, Putin said the objective and irreversible process of de-dollarization of BRICS economies is gaining pace.
“Last year, it stood at only 28.7%. Incidentally, during this summit, we shall discuss in detail the entire range of issues related to the transition to national currencies in all areas of economic cooperation between our five nations,” he said.
He said the BRICS New Development Bank, as an alternative to Western financial institutions, has a great role to play in these efforts.
The Russian leader, who is facing an international arrest warrant over alleged war crimes in Ukraine, could not attend the event in person.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are attending the summit in person.
BRICS is a bloc of emerging economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It currently makes up a quarter of the global economy, accounting for a fifth of global trade, and is home to more than 40% of the world’s population.
“I would like to point out that the share of the BRICS countries, with a population of 3 billion people, now accounts for nearly 26% of global GDP,” Putin said.
Putin also said the BRICS countries are ahead of the G-7 in terms of purchasing power parity, which is forecast for 2023 at 31.5% against 30%.
He further said that over the last decade, mutual investments among the BRICS countries have increased sixfold.
Putin said the cooperation between BRICS members is based on the principles of equality, partner support and respect for each other’s interests.
He also decried the sanctions imposed on his country, saying the global economic situation is seriously affected by the illegitimate sanctions practice and illegal freezing of assets of sovereign states.