By: Shubham Ghosh
SOUTH AFRICAN president Cyril Ramaphosa said ahead of the 14th BRICS summit hosted by China that his country is aiming to strengthen ties with other nations of the bloc for its growth and employment creation.
Chinese president Xi Jinping virtually hosted the summit on Thursday (23) under the theme of kicking off a “New Era for Global Development”.
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On Monday (20), Ramaphosa said in his weekly newsletter that the summit will open an opportunity to discuss how all nations could have a better way of recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic and flourish.
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In the midst of the war in Ukraine and the issue of global food crisis, the South African leader stressed on the significance of the BRICS Strategy on Food Security Co-operation which was adopted by the bloc members’ agriculture ministers in early June, South Africa’s Independent Online reported.
“Through the reform of the multilateral system, including the United Nations, and by refocusing the attention and resources of the global community on the sustainable development agenda, the BRICS group can support a sustained and equitable global recovery,” Ramaphosa was quoted as saying by the news website.
He added that in 2021, more than 17 per cent of South Africa’s exports went to the other BRICS countries and over 29 per cent of the total imports came from them.
“These countries are therefore significant trading partners, and the value of this trade is continuing to grow… Total South African trade with other BRICS countries reached R702 billion in 2021 up from R487bn in 2017,” he said.
Since tourism is one of the biggest sectors impacted by the pandemic, Ramaphosa was eyeing for its revival. He noted that “tourists from other BRICS countries accounted for 65% of all arrivals in South Africa in 2018”.
“Alongside the engagements between governments, the BRICS Business Council and the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance are building ties between our respective business communities.
“They have been looking at the development of sectors such as agribusiness, aviation, financial services, energy, manufacturing and infrastructure, while also improving regulatory environments and developing skills,” the South African president said.