Iran's Non-Oil Trade With BRICS Nations Nears $40BN
Non-oil trade between Iran and members of the BRICS alliance of emergent economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – reached $38.43 billion in fiscal year 2022-23, according to data released by the Islamic Republic’s Customs Administration. This represents a 14 percent increase from the previous fiscal year.
China remains Iran’s main trade partner in the BRICS alliance, with $30.32 billion in trade, an increase of 37 percent. India comes next with $4.99 billion, a 47 percent hike; Russia follows with $2.32 billion, Brazil with $466.55 million, and South Africa with $322.04 million.
The economic report comes just days after Tehran revealed that trade with African nations increased by 2.24 percent in fiscal year 2022-23, to reach $1.2 billion.
Despite a “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign from the west – and a push from Washington to seize more Iranian oil ships – the Islamic Republic has managed to overcome the unilateral restrictions and bolster industrial capacity.
In recent months, BRICS has also seen a surge of interest from Global South nations looking to ditch the US dollar and the hegemonic western financial system. Iran, alongside five Arab nations, have formally requested to join the alliance. BRICS foreign ministers will hold an annual summit in Cape Town during the first week of June to discuss the membership applications.
“We are getting applications to join every day,” South Africa’s ambassador to the bloc told Bloomberg last month. Bloomberg revealed BRICS is expected to surpass G7 states in economic growth expectations. By 2028, the G7 is expected to make up just 27.8 percent of the global economy, while BRICS will make up 35 percent.
In January, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that BRICS is in talks to create a common currency.
Referring to the US-dominated financial system, Lavrov said that “serious, self-respecting countries are well aware of what is at stake, see the incompetence of the ‘masters’ of the current international monetary and financial system, and want to create their own mechanisms to ensure sustainable development, which will be protected from outside dictates.”
On April 13, Brazil’s President Ignacio Lula da Silva called on the member states of BRICS and countries that seek to become part of it to replace the dollar in foreign trade. “Every night, I ask myself why all countries have to base their trade on the dollar,” he said, adding the question, “Why can’t we do trade based on our own currencies.”