SA to increase agricultural exports to BRICS nations, says Zuma

During the State of the Nation Address held at Parliament on Thursday 8 February 2017, President Jacob Zuma said that the country will increase its export of agricultural products with BRICS partners over the next few years.

He said the decision follows the agreements reached with the BRICS nations.

“We will implement agreements on the export of pulses, mangos and pork to India. We will also export twenty thousand tons of beef to China per year for a period of 10 years,” said Zuma.

He added that the country would continue to pursue the reform of the international system as the current system undermines the ability of developing countries to contribute and benefit meaningfully.

“Our cooperative partnerships with other regions are bearing fruits. The BRICS New Development Bank has recorded encouraging progress,” he said.

Zuma also welcomed the decision to establish the BRICS Credit Rating Agency taken at the 8th BRICS Summit held in Goa, India in October last year. He said the BRICS Credit Rating Agency would ensure that countries can
assist each other in assessing their own economic paths instead of depending on rating agencies outside of the BRICS block. Earlier this week, Quartz India reported that BRICS nations were forging ahead with the agency as they have started engaging with financial experts about the agency’s model and methodology.

Meanwhile China has revealed that it plans to reform the agricultural sector to improve the lives of people in rural areas by 2020. Shangai Daily reported that the country plans to improve structures in the agricultural sector, promote green production and encourages innovation amongst others.

– Image: BuzzSouthAfrica

China the world leader in online shopping

Online retail shopping in China soared considerably in 2016.

The National Bureau of Statistics is responsible for measuring the country’s economic data, and has reported a boom in online shopping. The report notes a 26.2%  increase in online retail sales, and 15.5% of total retail purchases were made online.

The National Bureau of Statistics’ report also stated that China will undoubtedly overtake the United States as leader in the online retailing shopping space, attributing the rapid growth to retailers building a stronger digital footprint.

Internet Retailer quoted Fung Global Retail & Technology analyst Esme Pau, who said: “We expect New Retail, a new form of [online-to-offline sales] promoted by Alibaba and supported by Chinese authorities, will shape the retail landscape for China going forward. Earlier in 2017, Alibaba announced the privatisation of Intime Retail Group, which we believe would be a test case for its New Retail strategy. Also, other partnerships between physical stores are Alibaba and Sanjiang, Inc. and Yonghui Supermarket.”

In addition, according to the International Monetary Fund, China’s GDP grew by 6.7% in 2016, compared to India’s 6.6% GDP growth.

Could China soon become ‘the most powerful economy globally’?

–; China Daily 

China puts efforts behind anti-AIDS initiative

China’s State Council’s latest endeavour to combat the high number of HIV/AIDS patients involves education and awareness, prevention and treatment.

The BRICS Post reports that this new strategy makes out part of the 13th Five-Year Plan by the State Council, and will also shine light on illegal blood transfusions, mother to child transmission and needle sharing. Their main objective is to improve the quality of life for patients living with HIV and to reduce the number of fatalities.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called on government and social institutions to be more dedicated to solving the HIV/AIDS crisis, by implementing “all legal and scientific methods and policies it has at its disposal,” also ordering the Communist Party to join forces with the public to cancel out discrimination against HIV carriers and patients with Aids.

According to the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of people contracting HIV/AIDS has rapidly increased, quoting a x4 increase in the amount of HIV/AIDS positive people aged 15 to 24 between 2010 and 2016.

– 13,000 men aged above 60 tested positive for the disease in 2016, 3.6 times that of 2010

– Over 96,000 cases of HIV/AIDS were reported in January to September 2016.

– More than 200,000 people have died of AIDS (no time frame was provided)

– A total of 654,000 were known to be living with HIV/AIDS in China; 94% of cases were contracted through sexual transmission.

– The CDC has also reported a steady rise in HIV/AIDS among homosexuals.

– According to UN stats, 34 million people worldwide are currently infected with HIV. Since 1984, when medical authorities began to tabulate HIV cases, some 35 million people have died of AIDS.

– The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

Chinese Vitality: A Driving Force of the World Economy

This infographic is courtesy of Beijing Review. To read the full article, click here.

What does the BRICS Bank’s Leslie Maasdorp say about Trump’s policies?

The Vice President of the BRICS Bank (New Development Bank), Lesley Maasdorp shared his thoughts on newly-elected President Donald Trump’s ‘inward-looking policies’, hoping that he is open to reviewing.



Clip courtesy of SABC Digital News YouTube

Committee for strengthening relations with China, Russia and India holds meeting

February 1, 2017
Sudan News Agency Khartoum Khartoum
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The higher committee for strengthening Sudan relations with China, Russia and India Wednesday held regular meeting at the Republican Palace, chaired by the committee’s deputy chairman, Dr. Awad Ahmed Al-Jaz.

In a press statement, Dr. Al-Jaz said that the meeting was focused on easing the administrative procedure for those who endeavor to invest in the country.

He said that the meeting has agreed on establishment of the united window and that the concerned institutions and ministries shall adopt the required measures for reactivating the procedural work and carrying out the field follow up work.

Dr. Al-Jaz indicated that the meeting also reviewed progress of work in enhancing the pattnership with China through Al-Rahad Agricultural Scheme.

He disclosed arrival of 37 Chinese investors who will particiapate at the agricultural forum which is organised by the Arab Authority for Agricultural Production and to deliberate about the investment at the livestock and fisheries.


SA, Thailand to Strengthen Economic Ties

January 30, 2017 Tshwane Pretoria
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South Africa will this week sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that is aimed at advancing the country’s economic agenda with Thailand.

South Africa’s investment promotion agency, Invest South Africa, will sign the memorandum with the Board of Investment Thailand, in Bangkok, on Tuesday, said the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).

“One of InvestSA’s objectives is to identify potential foreign investors and attract them to invest in the country, in an effort to grow the economy and create employment opportunities,” said the agency’s acing head Yunus Hoosen.

“The MoU that we will be signing with Thailand is aimed at promoting and facilitating cooperation between the two countries on investments in automotive, agro-processing and electronics sectors. It will also enhance our collaborative efforts to attract investments into our countries,” said Hoosen.

Invest SA is optimistic that the implementation of the MoU will see Thai investors setting up manufacturing plants in South Africa which will result in job creation.

Total trade between South Africa and Thailand in the first three quarters of 2016 reached R29.9 billion, which is a 24.3 % increase from R24 billion achieved in the same period of 2015.

Officials from the KwaZulu-Natal-based Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) will be part of the delegation. They will be on a mission to attract Thailand automotive component manufacturers to invest in the RBIDZ.

InvestSA is South Africa’s national investment promotion agency, providing a one-stop-shop services to investors.

This includes investment promotion, facilitation and aftercare, all of which are geared at fast-tracking projects and reducing government red-tape.

-Image: Shutterstock