BRICS Business Forum hosts a meeting of the leaders of the member countries
The summit guests were hosted by the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg
The 15th BRICS Business Forum was held in South Africa on the sidelines of the 15th BRICS Summit, attended by Heads of State, members of governments and representatives of the business community.
After the welcoming addresses by the BRICS Ministers, the first session “Collaboration and cooperation: unlocking BRICS trade and investment opportunities” began. It was attended by representatives of various BRICS structures and delegates from different countries.
At the end of the forum, addresses were delivered by the heads of South Africa, Brazil, India and Russia. China was represented by Wang Wentao, Minister of Commerce.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa emphasised the connecting role of BRICS for the entire population of the bloc.
“The BRICS group of countries exists not only to strengthen government-to-government relations, but also to forge stronger ties between the peoples of our five nations. It is for this reason that several bodies have been established since the BRICS bloc was formed to enable cooperation across society (business, political parties, the social sector, the sporting sector). The BRICS Business Council is a vital and vibrant platform for strengthening economic ties between our respective countries and in forging common perspectives on inclusive economic growth and development”
Cyril Ramaphosa President of South Africa
Ramaphosa emphasised that fundamental reforms of global financial institutions are required to enable them to be more flexible and responsive to the challenges faced by emerging economies.
President of the Republic of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva supported the creation of the BRICS single currency.
“I have advocated the idea of greater financial integration, where we could have a new reference unit which would not replace our national currencies. Joint bank must be a global leader in the financing of projects that address the most pressing challenges of our time by diversifying payment sources in local currencies”
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva President of Brazil
He assured that Brazil’s interest in the African continent is unchanged and will shape Brazilian policy for many years to come.
“In my first two presidential terms the African continent was a priority to Brazil. I have made 12 trips to Africa and have been to 21 countries. Africa has vast opportunities and enormous potential for growth. It is also at the centre of the energy and digital transition,” added the Brazilian leader.
Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasised the practical value of various meetings and forums in the BRICS and BRICS+ format: “I note that the regular holding of such business forums, as well as the systematic work of the BRICS Business Council, which brings together leading businessmen and heads of major companies of the five countries, really plays a great practical role in promoting mutual trade and investment, deepening cooperation ties, and expanding direct dialogue between business communities”.
The Russian leader also noted the economic growth of the five countries.
“Over the past decade, mutual investment by BRICS member states has increased sixfold. In turn, their investments in the global economy as a whole have doubled. The aggregate exports have reached 20 per cent of the global figure. As for Russia, our trade turnover with BRICS partners has added 40.5 per cent to a record of more than $230 billion”
Vladimir PutinPresident of Russia
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also focused on the role of the BRICS Business Council in the current geopolitical environment: “In the last 10 years, the BRICS Business Council has played a vital role in enhancing our economic cooperation. In 2009, when the first BRICS Summit was held, the world was just coming out of a massive financial crisis and at that time BRICS inverst as a ray of hope for the global economy. Present times also amongst the COVID, pandemic and global divisions on many issues. The world is dealing with economic challenges in such times. Once again the role of BRICS countries is important.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s address was delivered by Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao. The Chinese side also paid tribute to the tenth anniversary of the BRICS Business Council:
“10 years ago here in South Africa, we BRICS leaders witnessed the birth of the BRICS Business Council. Since then, the Council has stayed true to its founding mission. has seized opportunities to deepen cooperation, contributing to the economic and social development of BRICS countries and helping sustain global economic growth. With cooperation flourishing in various fields, China will work with all other countries to speed up cooperation under the Global Development initiative, strengthen drivers of global development, promote the reform of the World Trade Organisation in a comprehensive and indepth manner, meet common challenges together, and make life better for people across the world,” said Wang Wentao.
The BRICS Summit is taking place in Johannesburg (Gauteng, South Africa) from 22 to 24 August. The final agreements will be recorded in the Johannesburg Declaration of the XV BRICS Summit.
Photo: Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs