Brics Malaysia Could Become Partner Country First Says Pm





PARLIAMENT | Malaysia’s good relations with the member countries of Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will enable Malaysia to become a “partner country” soon with the trade grouping, said Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
He said in that context, Malaysia will be known as a Brics “new partner country” before its participation is finalised.
“There is a possibility that Malaysia’s application to join Brics will take some time, but with good relations with member countries, we could be a ‘partner country’.
“In discussions with the Foreign Ministry; Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry; and the council of ministers, we feel that there is wisdom and a need for us to be together in this new Brics framework,” he said.
Anwar said this in response to an additional question from Howard Lee (Harapan-Ipoh Timor) regarding the steps the government will take towards attaining Brics membership during the Minister’s Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat today.
He also said the participation will not be in conflict with Malaysia’s foreign policy and that it is important to establish relations with all parties.
Ipoh Timor MP Howard Lee“We also take note of the current economic situation where economic strength is no longer unipolar depending on just one big country, the United States,” he added.
Economic benefits
Anwar said preliminary assessments showed that Malaysia’s participation in Brics has the potential to gain various benefits, particularly in improving trade and export performance, as well as strengthening the country’s economic resilience.
“Cumulatively, the gross domestic product (GDP) of Brics member countries amounted to US$26.6 trillion (RM125.3 trillion), which is 26.2 percent of the world’s GDP, which is almost the same as the economic strength of the G7 countries.
“The economic strength of the Brics member countries as a bloc will help increase international trade among the member countries," he continued.
The prime minister said Brics member countries have a large population of 3.21 billion and that continues to increase with the inclusion of Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates, which have a total of 333 million people, forming a mega-market that includes as many 3.54 billion people, or almost 45 percent of the world’s population.
“Brics indeed has great potential to become a world economic power and this will certainly bring good things and contribute to Malaysia’s economic growth in the long term,” he added.
On June 18, Anwar confirmed that he had expressed the intention to join Brics to Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Brics was established in 2009 as a cooperation platform for emerging economies comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China with South Africa joining the group in 2010. In January 2024, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the UAE joined the organisation as new members.
No interference policy
Separately, the Tambun MP said Malaysia’s intention to join Brics is not to interfere in the domestic and political affairs of the countries involved.
He said Malaysia instead emphasises the importance of trade, economy and the expansion of networks that can provide benefits to the country and the people, especially traders and investors.
Anwar said that despite Malaysia’s relationship with foreign countries including those in the West and those involved in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec), the country does not fully agree on all matters.
“In fact, we have major disagreements and differences on the Gaza issue, for example, the issues of developing countries, the issues of trade competition in the World Trade Organization, but that does not cause us to cut ties, especially when the priority is trade,” he said.
Anwar was replying to a supplementary question by Doris Sophia Brodi (GPS-Sri Aman) 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 quite different from Malaysia’s.
The prime minister cited certain Brics countries such as China and Russia establishing close relations and cooperation with Malaysia although both have different systems.
“...but there are also countries in Brics, like South Africa and India, that practise democratic systems that are closer to us and this also does not hinder their relations in Brics with us.
“Besides that, countries like the UAE, India and South Africa also have good trade relations and economic cooperation with Europe, the United States and countries that are not in Brics,” said Anwar.
He added that there is no reason why Malaysia and the Asean countries that have applied to join Brics should worried because the main provisions are for trade purposes.
- Bernama


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