S. Africa pledges to strengthen intra-BRICS relations
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, left, talks with South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa and India's Prime Minister Narendra, after the taking of the group photo of BRICS leaders on the second day of the summit, at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. [Photo: AP]
South Africa on Tuesday pledged to strengthen intra-BRICS cooperation, particularly in trade and investment.
South Africa's membership of BRICS enables the country to employ additional and powerful tools in its fight to address the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality through increased trade, investment, tourism, capacity-building, skills and technology transfers, the South African Presidency said.
In a statement issued before President Cyril Ramaphosa leaves for Brasilia, Brazil, to attend the 11th BRICS Summit, scheduled for November 13-14, presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko said Ramaphosa's engagement at the summit "is to contribute to the future direction of BRICS, to strengthen intra-BRICS relations and mutually beneficial cooperation across the four pillars of cooperation, particularly in intra-BRICS trade and investment, as well as to ensure the ongoing implementation of the outcomes of the 10th BRICS Summit hosted in South Africa in 2018."
BRICS is acronym for five major emerging countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which together represent about 42 percent of the global population, 23 percent of GDP, 30 percent of the territory and 18 percent of the global trade.
At an institutional development level, South Africa derives crucial benefits through the Track II institutions such as the BRICS Business Council and the BRICS Think-Tank Council, as well as the creation of the BRICS Inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism, presidential spokesperson said.
The establishment in 2016 of the BRICS STI (Science, Technology & Innovation) funding mechanism and Framework Program is an example of the vital support for capacity-building as well as skills and technology transfer, Diko said.
Ramaphosa will utilize the upcoming summit to highlight South Africa's priorities for chairing the African Union (AU) in 2020 and the commencement of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, the spokesperson added.