Johannesburg, Monday, 26 March 2012 – South Africa will be sending a high powered team lead by its president, Jacob Zuma, and including government ministers and business leaders to the 4th BRICS summit in New Delhi India from 28 – 29 March 2012.
The BRICS group of emerging super powers composed of Brazil, Russia, India and China was joined by South Africa in 2011. The theme of this year’s summit: “BRICS Partnership for Stability, Security and Growth” will provide an opportunity for the member countries to debate and agree on issues of mutual interest and concern.
Business leaders from the five countries will hold high level discussions on enhancing financial connectivity by improving banking services to support intra-BRICS trade and investment; cooperating to achieve energy security with focus on green and renewable energy; enhancing cooperation in technological innovation to accelerate growth; cooperation in life sciences to improve development and quality of life; and achieving food security and through sharing scientific research and technology transfer.
Explaining the increasing stature of the summit, Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola said, the relative decline of the West’s traditional political and economic power has coincided with rising global stature of emerging nations. “The BRICS grouping is the most concrete and rapidly evolving example of this phenomenon. In just four years, the formal agenda for cooperation and consultation has expanded dramatically to span politics, trade and business, science, academic and cultural interactions.
Matola went on to say; “Naturally the BRICS countries won’t agree on everything – in fact in some areas we are competitors. But we have adopted many common positions such as most recently when at the G20 meeting in Mexico when the BRICS finance ministers agreed that the presidency of the World Bank should be open to all candidates and not restricted to American candidates. The United States’ recent nomination of a non-American candidate suggests these views are increasingly gaining traction. Likewise South Africa has found resonance within the BRICS grouping for its calls for the reform of global governance systems such as the UN system, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to make them more responsive to the needs of the developing world and Africa.”
Closer cooperation between the BRICS nations also promises enormous opportunities for trade and investment within and through all five member countries. Last year in South Africa, seven BRICS securities exchanges announced plans to cross-list each others’ indices and to jointly develop new products by June 2012. The seven exchanges represent a combined listed market capitalisation of more than $9-trillion and 9481 listed companies.
Matola said the BRICS summit provided an opportunity to promote not just South Africa but also the extraordinary opportunities in Africa which the IMF estimates will be home to seven of the 10 fastest growing economies between 2010 and 2015.
“We believe South Africa is an integral part of Africa and works to increase its stability, unity, prosperity and international influence. We are actively driving Africa’s regional integration efforts including developing continental north-south rail and road links, expanding ports and energy capacity and skills. Simultaneously 26 African countries agreed to create a single free trade area by mid-2014, covering the Southern, Eastern and Central Africa. The $1-trillion free trade area will effectively expand South Africa’s market from 50 million to 600 million – placing us in a similar category in terms of market size as our BRICS partners.”
The 2013 BRICS summit will be held in South Africa.
Brand South Africa, previously known as the International Marketing Council of South Africa, officially changed its name to best align with its mandate of building South Africa’s nation brand reputation in order to improve its global competitiveness.