Address by President Jacob Zuma to the Sixth BRICS Summit Plenary Session, Fortaleza, Brazil, 15 July 2014

Your Excellency, President Rousseff
Your Excellency, President Putin
Your Excellency, Prime Minister Modi
Your Excellency, President Xi
Honourable Ministers,
Your Excellencies, Ambassadors,
Distinguished and valued members from our business and academic communities,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Representatives from the international media,

We, the BRICS Leaders met today at a historic and seminal moment which saw for the first time since the post-Bretton Woods Institutions era, the creation of a new and unique financing initiative.

The agreements that were signed today mark our strengthened bonds of cooperation in the financial and economic domains, which will produce tangible results and impact on the lives of our people, as we continue to address the challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment.

We have started the journey of forging strategic cooperation relations through embarking jointly on tangible projects with key deliverables that will impact positively on our growth and development.

I have no doubt that our continent will also welcome these developments and fully embrace them.

Among the four major agreements signed today is the agreement establishing our bank, the New Development Bank. We also agreed that all BRICS members will have equal equity at its launch.

In addition, our Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation among BRICS Export Credit Insurance Agencies will improve the support environment for increasing trade opportunities among our countries.

We also recognised the huge potential for BRICS insurance and reinsurance markets to break new ground and pool our capacities.

We have also agreed to explore avenues of cooperation in this regard as reflected in the Fortaleza Declaration and Action Plan.

The theme of this Summit, Inclusive growth: Sustainable solutions, finds resonance in our country’s National Development Plan Vision 2030, which is based on our shared understanding that our economy needs to be more inclusive, more dynamic, with the fruits of growth shared equitably.

We are looking forward to partnering with BRICS colleagues as we implement the National Development Plan in our country, in the spirit of the BRICS partnership for development and progress.

We also welcome, the good work done by the BRICS Business Council in promote economic cooperation within the BRICS family.

The proposed BRICS-Africa Council could add an additional dimension to augmenting trade and investment between BRICS members and countries on the African Continent.

In light of Africa now featuring as the fastest growing region, there are many opportunities which the business sector within BRICS should continue to explore. The future is filled with great promise for business to business linkages within the BRICS family.

Dear colleagues, as you are aware, following the Retreat we hosted with African Leaders at the last Summit held in South Africa, we were mandated to continue coordinating Africa’s development interaction with BRICS.

We will therefore report the important outcomes emanating from this Summit to our continental Leadership as well as our own domestic constituency.

We will also urge that all of us expedite the legislative processes to ratify the important agreements signed at this summit, as soon as possible.

Ladies and gentlemen let me, yet again congratulate the Brazilian Government and people for hosting a very successful and enjoyable FIFA Soccer World Cup tournament.

Brazil has been able to prove that the developing countries of the South can host major world class events successfully.

We look forward to our friends in Russia hosting an equally successful World Cup in 2018.

I thank you.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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