BRICS progress impresses Zimbabwe Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga interacts with other leaders at the 15th BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, yesterday.

Mukudzei Chingwere in JOHANNESBURG, South Africa

Zimbabwe is pleased to note the progress being made by the BRICS economic bloc in providing an alternative global economic order and sees this as key to its quest for economic development and building a resilient and sustainable economy, President Mnangagwa has said.

President Mnagagwa said this in his keynote address at the 15th BRICS summit delivered on his behalf here by Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga.

BRICS is an economic bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa who have coalesced around the need for an alternative economic order away from the status quo which observers note is skewed to benefit the United States and its political allies.

Zimbabwe, which is currently under illegal economic sanctions from the US and its Western allies has had its economy stifled, together with other countries that have politically disagreed with the powerful economies of the Global North and is backing the rise of an alternative order.

The three-day annual summit attended by leaders from the bloc or their high ranking representatives together with several heads of state and government from emerging economies.

In his address, President Mnangagwa welcomed the approved expansion of BRICS.

Under the first phase of the approved expansion Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Egypt and Argentina have been invited to assume full membership of the bloc on January 1 next year.

This will mark the grouping’s first concrete steps towards increasing its global economic influence and challenging the Global North economic hegemony through strategic and fair collaboration.

President Mnangagwa told his counterparts that Zimbabwe, which has already applied to join the BRICS Bank, will be happy to be considered for full BRICS membership in future.

“This summit comes at a time when some countries from the Global North are politicising and weaponising the global economy at the detriment of small and developing nations,” said President Mnangagwa through VP Chiwenga.

“The world is under pressure from multiple complex and interconnected crises in which the strong take advantage of the most vulnerable among the community of nations.

“To us, BRICS is family, and it is our hope that with the joining of more

developing countries, BRICS will represent the Global South with a louder voice on the world stage. Developing countries should stand together and refuse to be intimidated by imperialist behaviour.

“Zimbabwe, like many other countries in Africa, is committed to pursuing a path to sustained economic growth and transformation through continental integration. We are pleased to be working with the BRICS partners to successfully implement our market integration objectives.

“African countries and BRICS nations share similar views and interests in improving and reforming the current international order and global governance system. The world needs a just global order which provides the future we want, which leaves no one and no place behind.

“Let me take this opportunity, to express the strong and unwavering intent of Zimbabwe to join the BRICS alliance. Zimbabwe as a nation recognises the immense value and potential that BRICS holds for the economic and political development of our country and the African continent as a whole.

“Joining this alliance would provide Zimbabwe with a unique opportunity to collaborate with like- minded nations and harness the benefits of collective strength,” said the President as read by VP Chiwenga.

Zimbabwe under the Second Republic has witnessed rapid economic growth which has set the country on the path towards the attainment of an empowered upper-middle income economy for the benefit of the citizenry.

Economists concede that despite its tremendous economic progress, Zimbabwe would have done much more had it not been for the albatross of illegal economic sanctions.

A new world economic order premised on fairness and respect of individual countries’ sovereignty would thus see Zimbabwe realizing its full economic potential.

Addressing the summit, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa welcomed the new members joining approval saying this will further global corporation within the bloc.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said the membership expansion is historic and shows the determination of BRICS for unity and cooperation.

UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan noted the important development vision being championed by BRICS in the emerging economies and said the UAE was happy to be offered full membership in the strategic group.

“We respect the vision of the BRICS leadership and appreciate the inclusion of the UAE as a member of this important group,” said the UAE President.

VP Chiwenga is accompanied by Higher and Tertiary Education Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira, who is the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Economic Development, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube and senior Government officials.

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