World Bulletin / News Desk
South African President Jacob Zuma insisted on Tuesday that despite global economic difficulties facing the most powerful economies in the world, his country was making remarkable progress which he attributes to growing trade with the BRICS grouping.
‘‘Last year, total trade within the BRICS grouping amounted to 6.1 billion dollars representing 16.8 percent of global trade,’’ Zuma told delegates at the first meeting of the BRICS Business Council hosted at the Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg.
‘‘As we meet in South Africa again, we must underline that the value of the BRICS partnership for South Africa in particular and immense, as visible in the bilateral trade relations.”
Zuma said that in 2012 South Africa`s total trade with the BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - stood at R294 billion, up 11 percent from R264 billion in 2011.
‘‘Total trade with Brazil grew from R18 billion in 2011 to R20 billion in 2012, representing a growth of 11 percent,’’ he noted.
The president said adding that the total trade with Russia had also increased from R3 billion in 2011 to R5 billion in 2012, with a growth of 45 percent.
Zuma said the total trade with India, which is South Africa`s sixth largest trading partner, grew substantially from R53 billion in 2011 to R67 billion in 2012, representing a growth of over 26 percent.
Trade with China had increased by 7 percent from R188 billion in 2011 to R201 billion in 2012.
South Africa's coastal city of Durban hosted in March the fifth BRICS Summit.
During the summit, the member states created two new structures to assist them in formulating a long-term strategic vision for the BRICS grouping, namely the BRICS Business Council and the BRICS Think Tanks Council.
President Zuma said the BRICS Business Council provides a platform to explore new models and approaches towards more equitable development and inclusive growth in the world.
He asserted that the strength of the BRICS grouping was amplified by the fact that its member states account for 43 percent of the world’s population.
President Zuma urged the businessman and entrepreneurs attending the BRICS conference to invest in Africa.
“Africa’s output is expected to expand by 50 percent by 2015, resulting in a 30 percent rise in the continent’s spending power,” he said.
He insisted that Africa is becoming well-known for its higher return on foreign investments compared to any other region in the world.
“This is not surprising given the competitive edge of the continent.”
Zuma said Africa’s advantages include its extraordinary mineral wealth, agricultural potential, a young working population and a growing middle class with considerable and growing purchasing power.
South Africa’s own mineral wealth is estimated at $ 2.5 trillion.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Ağustos 2013, 09:21