Malaysia Pursues BRICS Entry For Economic Boost, Assures Prime Minister

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today clarified that Malaysia’s intention to join the intergovernmental organisation BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) is not aimed at interfering in the domestic and political affairs of those countries.

Instead, he emphasised Malaysia’s focus on trade, economy, and the expansion of networks that can provide benefits to the country and people, especially traders and investors.

“In fact, we have major disagreements and differences on the Gaza issue, for example, as well as the issues of developing countries and trade competition in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). But that does not cause us to cut ties, especially when the priority is trade,” he said during Minister’s Question Time in Dewan Rakyat.

Anwar was responding to a supplementary question from Sri Aman MP Datuk Seri Doris Sophia Brodi who wanted to know if the government had examined the implications of Malaysia joining BRICS considering that its member countries have economic, political and social backgrounds that are different from Malaysia.

The prime minister said some BRICS countries such as China and Russia have established close relations and cooperation with Malaysia even though both have different systems.

“…but there are also countries in BRICS including South Africa and India that practise democratic systems which are closer to us and this also does not hinder their relations in BRICS with us.

“Besides that, countries like the United Arab Emirates (UAE), India and South Africa also have good trade relations and economic cooperation with, for example, Europe, the United States and countries that are not in the BRICS,” said Anwar.

Therefore, he said there is no reason why Malaysia and several Asean countries that have applied to join BRICS should be worried as the main provisions are for trade purposes.

Apart from that, Anwar said the government had also studied and examined the possible implications of Malaysia joining BRICS.

BRICS was established in 2009 as a cooperation platform for emerging economies comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China, with South Africa joining in 2010.

In January 2024, countries such as Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the UAE joined the organisation as new members.

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