African leaders said at the BRICS Business Forum that ended in China on Monday that the continent hopes to become a new growth pole through cooperation with BRICS countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
About 1,200 business elites from more than 600 enterprises gathered in Xiamen of southeast China’s Fujian Province to attend the BRICS Business Forum.
The two-day forum that started Sunday is an important side event of the BRICS summit. South African President Jacob Zuma and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi delivered speeches at the forum, while Guinean President Alpha Conde attended a panel discussion under the theme of interconnectivity.
In a speech delivered Sunday, Zuma said he hopes BRICS countries can enhance cooperation to make their economies more robust and sustainable and bring benefits to their people. Amid a decrease in global demand for raw materials, South Africa, whose exports are mainly driven by raw materials, are facing great challenges, Zuma said. Against such a backdrop, South Africa hopes to realize comprehensive and inclusive development through cooperative projects with other BRICS countries, he added.