SOUTH AFRICA TO HOST 10TH BRICS SUMMIT IN JULY

PRETORIA, South Africa, which has taken over the rotating chair of the emerging economies grouping comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, or BRICS as it commonly referred to, is set to host the 10th BRICS summit from July 25 to 27 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

The hosting of the summit will see South Africa building on the BRICS programme of development and prosperity for partner countries, says the Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) for Asia, Middle East and BRICS, Anil Sooklal.

The summit, which will be attended by Heads of State from the grouping, will be an important milestone towards building stronger solidarity and co-operation among emerging markets.

BRICS is an important global formation and South Africa is privileged to host the summit the second time around, as we enter the second decade of co-operation. BRICS has been meeting in summit form for nine years now and this will be the 10th session,” he said here Monday.

The first summit we hosted in 2013 was very successful with very tangible outcomes and the results of that summit are visible in the work of the BRICS and the global community and we are confident that this summit will also follow suit.”

Sooklal said the summit would showcase the co-operation that the BRICS countries enjoy, as well as its impact globally as they address key challenges faced by emerging countries such as developmental challenges, growing the economy, and addressing poverty and unemployment.

According to Sooklal, within the BRICS context, South Africa has four primary goals which are to see development and inclusive economic growth; promote value-added trade among BRICS countries and to promote investment into the productive sector.

The five BRICS countries account for 26 per cent of the world’s land mass and are home to 43 per cent of the world’s population.

There has been substantive progress achieved since South Africa joined BRICS in 2011, as seen for example in the launch of the Africa Regional Centre of the New Development Bank (NDB) in South Africa.

The formation has strengthened its co-operative mechanism for institutional development, most notably witnessed in the creation of the New Development Bank and the recently launched Africa Regional Centre in Johannesburg.

In 2015, total intra-BRICS trade amounted to 3.06 trillion Rand (about 256 billion US dollars).

South Africa’s exports to BRICS countries marginally increased from 123 billion Rand in 2011 to 138.2 billion Rand in 2016, while in the same period, imports from BRICS countries doubled from 115 billion to 230 billion Rand.

Total intra-BRICS foreign direct foreign direct investment (FDI) totalled 554 trillion Rand at the end of February 2016.

However, despite the depended relations within BRICS, Sooklal said there was room for better co-ordination among BRICS countries in other areas.

We need to get academics, think tanks, the private sector, and our people-to-people dimension to work and organize themselves better and embrace the opportunities presented to them by being part of the BRICS formation.

Already the South African government has been engaging the BRICS Think Tank Council in order to identify concrete areas of cooperation that South Africa can take forward during the country’s BRICS presidency in 2018.

A BRICS Network of Smart Manufacturing Hubs has been recommended and it is expected to pool together knowledge, technology and new ideas on the identification of new and interconnected value chains.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK