UAE can play vital role in Brics' south-south geo-economics, Economy Minister says

The country is a central hub of the trade corridor that routes a lot of businesses and investments, Abdulla bin Touq tells WEF

Abdulla Bin Touq, UAE's Minister of Economy speaking at the Brics in expansion session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos. Photo: World Economic Forum
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The UAE can play a vital role in south-south geo-economics as part of the expanded bloc of Brics countries, boosting trade and building bridges among nations, its Minister of Economy has said.

The Arab world’s second-largest economy is right in the middle of the world, a central hub of the south-south corridor that routes a lot of businesses and trade down to the south, Abdulla bin Touq told a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday.

“I think that's something where the UAE can play a role … in the engagement on the global level when it comes to Brics,” Mr bin Touq said. This engagement brings a lot of investment as well.”

Although the world is facing fragmentation and heightened economic uncertainties, the UAE’s move to accept the Brics’ invitation to join the bloc is driven by geo-economic consideration and not geopolitical drivers, he said.

“Brics is not a political kind of stance, and neither we are in a cold war environment to [decide whether to] join or not to join,” he said.

“This is something we need to clear out on this stage, here and right now … it is opportunities, it is trade, it is economic drivers.”

Saudi Arabia, along with the UAE, Egypt, Iran and Ethiopia, joined the Brics bloc on January 1, after receiving the invitation to join the group of emerging nations in August last year. The new joiners have doubled Brics membership to 10, with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa being the original members.

The expanded Brics membership accounts for about 45 per cent of the world's population and 25 per cent of global exports.

The bloc's combined gross domestic product of about $30 trillion equals around 29 per cent of the world's GDP.

The expanded bloc is a considerable economic powerhouse and aims to be voice for emerging and developing countries in a global economic policy framework.

The prevailing fragmentation, economic uncertainties and high inflation requires supply to catch up to growing demand, Mr bin Touq said.

The services sector needs to pick up the pace of growth globally and that’s the trade and economy agenda that should be pursued.

“Brics is an institution, it's an organisation that really puts different agendas on track well”, and the UAE as an economic hub engages on all tracks of economic and trade development, he said.

“We're looking forward to infrastructure [development], we're looking forward to build bridges between nations and friends and colleagues around the Brics institution and looking forward as well to engaging on economic policies globally as well.”

Updated: January 18, 2024, 12:57 PM