Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Wednesday hailed the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (Brics) alignment as a force that could promote global inclusive economic growth and help develop Africa.
He was delivering the keynote address at the Brics Business Council mid-term meeting in Johannesburg.
"Brics is about the future of the global economy," he affirmed. This included reshaping the global economy. He pointed out that the Brics countries represented billions of the world's population. "The Brics countries together are huge."
"We can never underestimate what we can do together," he said. "There is huge opportunity if our businesses work together." He noted that trade between the Brics countries had grown steadily.
"For us in South Africa, Brics is also a platform for advocating for the whole of Africa," he assured. He noted that South Africa could only benefit if Africa grew.
"Africa remains a continent of the future, with its youthful population," observed Makhura. "There is no doubt the Brics economies can play a key role in catalysing Africa's industrialisation and development."
As for Gauteng, the province was the industrial and financial heart of both South Africa and Africa. "Gauteng occupies a special place in the economy of our country and the continent."
Consequently, it could play an important role in developing trade ties between Brics countries and Brics businesses. The province had already established sub-national relationships with regions in China, India and Russia (the equivalent process with Brazil had been delayed by the elections in that country last year).
"Business is done here [in Gauteng]," he emphasised. "Our goal is to [also] grow business tourism, particularly from Brics countries, because that is where the potential lies."