The BRICS members are mulling over the possible launch of a common unit of account, Russia’s Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov unveiled. This would be an alternative to the U.S. dollar that can be used to denote the cost of some commodities, for example, but not a single currency like the euro, the Russian official explained.
BRICS States Focused on Trade in National Currencies, See Potential in Unified Settlement Systems
The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) are discussing the possibility of creating a common unit of account that would serve as an alternative to the U.S. dollar, Minister Siluanov told the Chinese state-run CGTN TV channel during the BRICS summit.
Leaders of the BRICS member states are meeting in Johannesburg on Aug. 22-24, with Russian President Vladimir Putin joining via video link, to discuss the future moves of the group. The prospect of issuing a single currency for the bloc, which unites leading emerging economies, is one of the topics of the talks.
Anton Siluanov pointed out, however, that the main emphasis, when it comes to the development of trade relations, is now placed on settlements in national currencies. “We see the potential to discuss the creation of unified settlement systems,” he said, also quoted by the Tass news agency, and elaborated:
This can be a unit of account for the BRICS member countries. Not a single currency like in the EU but an alternative to the dollar, in which the cost of commodity deliveries can be denoted as well as benchmarks for some goods so as not to depend on the single currency or an issuing center that issues banknotes in a no-one-knows-how manner.
Intensive consultations have been carried out in recent months within BRICS on launching a single currency, according to an earlier report by Tass quoting a representative of the South African Ministry of International Relations. However, there has been no decision to this effect yet, the official said, adding that a BRICS currency was being discussed as a concept.
During a meeting of the foreign ministers of the BRICS states in Cape Town in early June, the group’s top diplomats announced a plan to encourage the use of local currencies in international trade. At the end of April, South Africa’s ambassador to the group, Anil Sooklal, highlighted efforts to create a common currency but also noted that the bloc was focused on expanding the use of national currencies.
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