The UAE’s new BRICS membership will not be to the detriment of its ties with western nations, a top official has said in an interview with Bloomberg.

The country is looking at the new membership of the bloc – originally founded by Brazil, Russia, Indian and China, with South Africa added later – as an opportunity to develop trade.

It also has plans to “push more” and will “indeed” commit more capital to the New Development Bank, the lender created by BRICS that emirates joined two years ago, Economy Minister Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

Al Marri did not specify the amount of capital that will be injected into to the bank, according to the report.

The UAE was one of six countries, along with Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to receive invitations to join the block last week.

“Going to the Global South, that’s the most important aspect where we are focusing on at the moment, and that will grow,” Al Marri said. “While we double down on trade, that will be what we focus on.”

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Brinda Darasha)