Address by President Jacob Zuma during the Interaction with the BRICS Business Council Members on the occasion of the 8TH BRICS Summit
16 October 2016
The Respective Leaders of BRICS,
Chairpersons of the BRICS Business Council,
It is gratifying to see the progress made by the BRICS Business Council since its launch in South Africa in 2013.
The establishment of the seven working groups and the various activities and initiatives undertaken clearly demonstrate the commitment by members of the Council to cement business ties amongst our countries.
The Council was created as a platform to strengthen and promote BRICS economic, trade and investment links and to support regular dialogue between BRICS Business communities and Governments. This mandate is being fulfilled and today’s engagement is also a reflection of the continued commitment by BRICS Leaders to this initiative.
Following on the interactions in previous Summits, we have noted the Council’s recommendations towards further developing an enabling environment for expanded inter-BRICS trade and investment.
A lot of progress has been made in recent times. These include the implementation of the Strategy for the BRICS Economic Partnership, the operationalisation of the New Development Bank and the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement, the BRICS Export Credit Agencies discussions on insurance and underwriting, the exploration of a BRICS Rating Agency; and the hosting of the first BRICS Trade Fair.
To this end, the BRICS Business Council activities since undertaken since the Durban Summit, and the corresponding initiatives by BRICS Governments has brought us to a point where the Council can be a true catalyst for economic growth.
The various BRICS undertakings need to culminate in growing investments in and expanding value added trade within BRICS, which should also support integration into global value chains.
Accordingly, key projects and areas identified for cooperation with our BRICS partners include: Insurance and Re-insurance Cooperation; the BRICS Seed Bank; Infrastructure, including Electricity Generation and Transmission; the BRICS Cable Project, the African Union North-South Development Corridor; the Ocean’s Economy; Cooperation in Aviation; and Manufacturing.
Furthermore, the NDB African Regional Centre which is being established in South Africa will pay particular attention to project preparation, funding and the implementation of Continental projects.
We commend the BRICS Business Council for the work undertaken. We urge you to continue advancing the economic agenda of BRICS.
I Thank you!!
Issued by The Presidency