As the leaders of the BRICS five meet in the Russian city of Ufa for their annual summit Jul. 8–10, their agenda is likely to be dominated by economic and security concerns, triggered by the continuing economic crisis in the European Union and the security situation in the Middle East.
Uzbekistan has introduced sweeping new banking and import regulations that appear designed to keep hard currency from leaving the country.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s internal auditor has criticised the Fund’s recent policy on foreign currency reserves, and has offered an implicit warning that the United States’ outsized influence within the institution has resulted in policy that was insufficiently evidence-based.
For months now East Africans have been expectantly waiting for an economic revolution to begin as they anticipate the launch of a new standardised payment system that will integrate the electronic transfer of money in the region. But continued delays in the launch of the system have economists fearing that the weak financial infrastructure here is hindering its implementation.
As Malawi’s poor struggle to afford food and other staple items since the 48 percent devaluation of the local currency against the dollar, economic commentators are optimistic that the move will provide an opportunity to boost the country’s export market.
China is looking to Latin America to experiment with the yuan, or renminbi, to replace the dollar, taking advantage of the growth in Chinese trade and investment in this region. But because the volume is still insignificant, it is not yet clear what impact the currency will have on economies in the region.