South Africa, which forms part of the Brics group of countries, which also includes Brazil, Russia, India and China, is increasingly turning towards economies of the South for economic growth and development, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said this week.
He pointed out that the expansion of South Africa’s trade and direct investment with Bric countries continued apace, with China and India at the forefront.
Speaking in Jakarta, Indonesia, Davies stressed that the Brics group should realise that it was not a “close shop” of existing members, and that the bloc should contribute to the development of Africa and other emerging economies and developing countries.
He said South Africa had a direct interest in extending Brics’ cooperation to support Africa’s economic development agenda.
“The Brics countries can contribute to Africa’s development by increasing financial aid to build infrastructure and industrial capacity, and increasing imports of value-added manufactured products from the continent.
“The abundant natural resources of Africa, the growing consumer power of Africa’s emerging middle class, and high growth rates offer an opportunity to build a more sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship with Africa in the next decades.”
Davies said the Brics-led development bank, which is being discussed, should mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in Brics countries, as well as other emerging economies and developing countries.
The Minister is leading a delegation of 68 companies to the South Africa China Expos 2012 taking place in Beijing and Shanghai, China next week.
The share of the other Brics countries in South Africa’s total trade has increased from 10%, in 2005, to 18.6% in 2011, while South Africa's share of trade with the European Union declined from 36% to 26.5% over the same period.