Trade wars won’t happen in BRICS, says South African official

A South African official said on Monday that there will not be trade wars within BRICS, but the topic will be unavoidable at the upcoming BRICS summit.

“If there are any trade wars, they are outside of BRICS,” Lindiwe Sisulu, the South African minister of International Relations and Cooperation, told the media at a press conference in Johannesburg’s Sandton, adding that member states are concerned about the direction multilateral arrangements are taking.

“The trade wars, we would like to leave to other areas and other fora to the extent that it will be possible, but of course it’s a dominant factor in international relations, so there’s no way that it can be avoided,” Sisulu noted.

Heads of state and their delegations from the bloc – which comprises of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – will meet in Sandton from Wednesday to Friday for the 10th annual BRICS summit.

Sisulu added that the BRICS summit will focus on increasing economic cooperation between the five countries.

“We have created for ourselves a business forum where we invited [businesses] to engage with both [Chinese] President Xi Jinping and President [Cyril] Ramaphosa, on the possibilities of how we can enhance our business opportunities using the space that we have. I think that’s what we would like to concentrate on right now,” said Sisulu.

Speaking of President Xi’s visit to the country, she indicated that cooperation between China and South Africa extends beyond the economy.

South Africa will see what they can benefit from by cooperation with China and what projects the two sides will potentially work on.