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Five priorities for SA Presidency in 2023

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Image: ANA – On May 5, the BRICS Business Council (BBC) annual midterm meeting was held in South Africa to prepare for the Annual General Meeting and the 15th BRICS Summit in August


On May 5, the BRICS Business Council (BBC) annual midterm meeting was held in South Africa. This is a critical milestone on South Africa’s BRICS calendar as BBC is preparing for the Annual General Meeting and the 15th BRICS Summit in August.

The purpose of the event was to outline the programme of all planned activities for the 15th BRICS Summit in August, which takes place from 22 to 24 August, to outline the work that’s been done and that will be delivered in the next few months.

There were five sessions, during which all the nine sectoral Working Groups of the BRICS Business Council provided an update of pipeline deals and projects between the five countries: in agribusiness, digital economy, energy and green economy, financial services, infrastructure, manufacturing, skills development and aviation.

Sergei Katyrin, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (CCI RF), delivering his welcoming speech, noted that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the BRICS Business Council. “This shows the maturity of our structure. The BRICS association is gaining in importance, and the busy agenda of South Africa’s BRICS chairmanship this year only confirms this fact,” he said.

BBC Sherpa-Chairperson, India Chapter Naveen Kapur highlighted the importance of using new currencies in various fields of co-operation.

“I hope that going ahead BRICS countries will make further progress in using local currencies for trade, which will give a boost to our economic relations” – Naveen Kapur, BBC Sherpa-Chairperson of Indian Chapter

According to Chen Siqing, BBC Chair, China Chapter, there is a need to build a more stable and reliable co-operation and to strengthen co-operation in the fields of food security and financial security. The Chinese Chapter will fully co-operate with the South African Chapter to jointly complete the work.

During the midterm meeting, Ben Joubert, South Africa’s BRICS Sous-Sherpa, delivered a presentation about the priorities of South Africa’s Chairpersonship in BRICS.

Joubert outlined that BRICS is the leading partnership of the global South and provides leadership towards global growth, sustainable development and inclusion of the South.

“South Africa developed its theme and priorities through an inclusive consultation process with government, business, academia and civil society. The theme of South Africa’s Chairship in BRICS in 2023 is “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism”. – Ben Joubert, South Africa’s BRICS Sous-Sherpa

Joubert defined five priorities of South Africa for 2023. They are the following:

  1. Developing a partnership towards an equitable Just Transition;
  2. Transforming education and skills development for the future;
  3. Unlocking opportunities through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement;
  4. Strengthening Post-Pandemic Socio-Economic Recovery and the Attainment of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development;
  5. Strengthening Multilateralism, including Working Toward Real Reform of Global Governance Institutions and Strengthening the Meaningful Participation of Women in Peace Processes.

“Building up to the 15th BRICS Summit in August 2023 there are around 200 events on the Calendar across all three pillars of political and security, economic and financial, and social and people-to-people cooperation,” Joubert said.

Talking about the developments in the New Development Bank, he added that the vision of the NDB President, former Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, is to raise funds across all markets and finance loans in local currencies, where possible.

The BRICS Business Council was established during the Fifth BRICS Summit held on March 26 to March 27, 2013 in Durban, South Africa. The objective of creating the council was to constitute a platform that will promote and strengthen business, trade and investment ties amongst the business communities of the five BRICS countries. As well as ensuring regular dialogue between the business communities of the BRICS nations and the Governments of the BRICS countries.

This article was first published on BRICS TV