Foreign Ministers from BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – made a pitch for use of local currencies in international trade and financial transactions in the joint statement issued at the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Cape Town on Friday.

The Ministers condemned the unilateral protectionist measures under the pretext of environmental concerns, such as the “unilateral and discriminatory” carbon border adjustment mechanisms, taxes and other measures.

“Ministers underscored the importance of encouraging the use of local currencies in international trade and financial transactions between BRICS and their trading partners,” per the joint statement.

The endorsement is important for India which has started the process of promoting rupee-trade with many of its neighbouring countries and trading partners that face a shortage of hard currencies or, like Russia, are facing Western sanctions.

carbon taxes

The joint condemnation of carbon taxes is also significant as India has been trying to convince the EU to ensure that its proposed Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism does not hurt Indian exports to the bloc.

The Ministers also emphasised the importance of financial inclusion and welcomed the new technological instruments for financial inclusion developed in BRICS countries that can contribute to ensuring citizen’s full participation in the formal economy.

On Thursday, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar called upon BRICS members to demonstrate sincerity in regard to reforming global decision-making, including that of the UN Security Council.

The Ministers also called for the restoration of a fully and well-functioning dispute settlement system at the WTO by 2024 and the selection of new Appellate Body members without delay.