S. African president welcomes BRICS commitment to multilateralism

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers a speech during a Dialogue with BRICS Business Council & New Development Bank during the BRICS summit in Brasilia, Brazil November 14, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers a speech during a Dialogue with BRICS Business Council & New Development Bank during the BRICS summit in Brasilia, Brazil November 14, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday welcomed BRICS commitment to multilateralism, saying such commitment constituted a notable positive outcome of the just-concluded BRICS Summit.

Ramaphosa made the statement after concluding a working visit to Brasilia, Brazil where he attended the 11th BRICS Summit on November 13-14.

In a statement issued by his office, Ramaphosa drew particular attention to the reconfirmation by leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa of their shared commitment to a strong multilateral system that is properly governed.

With this commitment, the BRICS have stated their intent to promote trade among member states and play a key role in the growth of the world economy, said Ramaphosa.

He said benefits arising from BRICS membership were evident across all partner countries with South Africa playing host to Brazilian bus manufacturers, Russian train manufacturers, Indian automotive companies and Chinese machinery producers.

“Each of the BRICS countries has South African fruit and vegetables on their tables, buildings constructed from South African metals and factories fitted with South African machinery and electronics,” Ramaphosa said.

He attributed these benefits to the BRICS strategy for economic partnership and the work of the BRICS Business Council which he said promotes economic growth, especially through intra-BRICS trade and is able to identify nodes of economic growth.

The council has already identified a number of projects in infrastructure development, agriculture, renewable energy, agro processing, mining and a range of other projects that would positively influence the economies of BRICS countries, according to Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa said the council will ensure that these projects be financed by the BRICS New Development Bank or other financial institutions.

He lauded the formation of the New Development Bank as another notable positive outcome of the BRICS bloc, as demonstrated by the bank’s strong capital base and projects already underway in all member states, with South Africa allocated 2.5 billion U.S. dollars.

BRICS is acronym for five major emerging countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which together represent about 42 percent of the global population, 23 percent of GDP, 30 percent of the territory and 18 percent of the global trade.