Brics to build partnerships

By Drum Digital
27 March 2013

There will be more partnerships between governments and private sector companies to strengthen trade and collaboration among Brics member countries, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.

"We will work tirelessly in tandem with our Brics partners to forge stronger partnerships to deliver prosperity and progress to the people of South Africa," Zuma told a New Age business breakfast held at the Brics summit in Durban.

"These relations are also viewed as mutually beneficial to our Brics partners."

He said the nation was pleased to see the level of enthusiasm among the business community of the members of Brics.

"We are convinced that through purposeful engagement we can negotiate new types of mutual beneficial developmental agreements with Brics governments," he said.

Zuma said South Africa would leverage its position in the African continent as a leading investor by partnering with Brics companies to explore financial opportunities.

South Africa shared a common vision with its Brics partners -- improving the lives of the people, he said.

The breakfast followed a business forum in which companies from the five Brics countries discussed various collaborations to strengthen trade and partnerships.

Businesses discussed partnerships in areas of agriculture, agri-processing, energy, green economy, mineral beneficiation, infrastructure and finance.

There were three main outcomes of the summit. These were the formation of a Brics development bank, a marine cable project and a Brics trade and development risk pool.

"The Brics development bank is intended at mobilising domestic savings and [to] co-fund infrastructure in developing regions. The aim of the trade and development risk pool is to establish a sustainable and alternative insurance network for the Brics countries," Zuma said.

The Brics cable would focus on a new high capacity cable 28,400km long linking the Brics countries.

This would remove the dependency on developed countries at interconnection points, by providing a direct route among the Brics countries.

Another milestone was the formation of the Brics Business Council which would be chaired by South African mining billionaire Patrice Motsepe.

The council would serve as a platform to strengthen and promote economic trade and investment ties between the business communities of the five Brics countries.

It would also focus on strengthening of trade relations, technology transfer and co-operation in the areas of skills development, banking, green economy, manufacturing and industrialisation.

Brics is a group of developing countries made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

-by Sapa

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