Will Macron make a BRICS cameo?

South Africa is reportedly considering an invite for French President Emmanuel Macron to attend August’s summit of BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa).

France’s foreign minister flagged Macron’s interest while in South Africa this week. And her South African counterpart said an invite wasn’t off the table, but was really a call for South Africa’s president (the 2023 BRICS host).

Intrigue’s take: There’s always been buzz around the BRICS: the possibility of a new currency, new members, or some kind of new global re-ordering.

But BRICS literally started life as an acronym invented by a Goldman Sachs economist. And several summits, statements and a shaky development bank later, its disparate members are still figuring out a common purpose.

So in the (unlikely) event Macron does score an invite, it’s hard to see his cameo nudging the BRICS needle either way.

Also worth noting:

  • Russia has objected to the possibility of Macron’s BRICS attendance.
  • South Africa is reportedly looking to China to host the upcoming BRICS summit instead, to avoid Pretoria having to enforce or ignore the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for Russia’s president.
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