African National Congress secretary-general Ace Magashule concluding remarks – BRICS Political dialogue

Political Parties from Brazil, Russia, India and China gathered in South Africa, Pretoria for three days and concluded their meeting on Thursday. On the main agenda, closer cooperation and peace. The political dialogue had in attendance over 200 delegates.

“As the BRICS community of nations, we choose to cooperate with one another rather than to engage in confrontation. We strive for peace and friendship, to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiations and not by war,” African National Congress secretary-general Ace Magashule concluded at the summit.

“Our understanding of globalisation is that it is a social process, and not a natural phenomenon. Therefore in this process of globalisation we are actors and participants in the shaping, or the reshaping, of a social phenomenon.

We can therefore not be dictated to by one actor in this dominant hostile realities of the world of capitalism. This is where people to people relations become critical as an instrument of nation building and formation.”

“We have said that international agreements arrived at must be honoured because the rule of law is paramount for international stability. The reform of institutions of global governance, from the United Nations Security Council, to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, is long overdue and if achieved will galvanise justice and fairness in the way global governance is managed,” said Magashule.

“For us shared global prosperity means that the international system must be geared towards achieving inclusive growth and development. It must be an inclusive process by all of the world nation states.”

“We reject the idea that countries must pursue their self-interests at the cost and to the detriment of our shared prosperity,” he said.

Source:  IOL

 

Twenty years of diplomatic relations between China and South Africa a major contributor to local economic and social transformation

South Africa-China Economic and Trade Association (SACETA) hosted Chinese and South African delegates for the official release of the 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report of Chinese-Funded Enterprises in South Africa.

At the launch event, Chairman of the Association and General Manager of China Construction Bank Corporation, Zhang Jinguo shared that the report depicts the on-going cohesion between China and South Africa, which entails job creation, social responsibility, local manufacturing, and the preservation of wildlife and natural reserve protection.

Publishing a report of this nature for the first time in South Africa is a massive achievement for the 130 Chinese-funded enterprises that contributes to economic development and livelihood in South African communities. The report highlights how much has been done and also sparks creativity for further bilateral trade and corporate social responsibility. “The report is a window. When you open the book, you open the window. It serves as a good model for SACETA members,” Jinguao said.

Chinese Ambassador in South Africa, HE Lin Songtian, said that the 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report of Chinese-Funded Enterprises in South Africa is a showcase of how Chinese enterprises implement the common values of friendship and justice that exists between the two countries. China has been SA’s biggest trade partner for 9 years and bilateral trade for the first quarter of 2018 amounted to 33.2 billion USD.

There are many factors that point to a mutually beneficial commitment. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) took place in Beijing this year, while South Africa hosted the 10th annual BRICS Summit. Furthermore, China’s top 5 financial institutions have branches in South Africa.

Songtian believes that the two countries are in a season of embracing new historic opportunities, with special consideration of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s vision for South Africa to attract domestic and foreign investment. The Chinese sentiment maintains that this is indeed a win-win cooperation.

Going forward, Dr Miriam Altman, Commissioner of National Planning Commission believes that the National Development Plan 2030 (NDP) relies heavily on the existing Africa-China relationship. “We need to seek more balanced trade, increase tourism prospects, and give fair attention to education and skills training, not forsaking deeper cooperation in innovation,” Altman concluded.

 

 

Issued by: Brand South Africa

SA President warns BRICS Governing Parties of nationalism

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa warned BRICS governing parties gathered at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria of the dangers of nationalism. This he did on Tuesday in the opening of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) political dialogue. Ramaphosa further said that BRICS should work towards multilateralism.

RELATED: ANC hosts governing parties from BRICS member states

“Notwithstanding our individual national interests, our presence here today confirms that we are indeed internationalist in outlook. We must be concerned about and seek actively to reverse the rise of narrow and extreme nationalism which is taking root in some parts of the world,” Ramaphosa said.

“What we ought never to forget regarding this is that when extreme nationalism rises, so does that potential for one country or a small group of countries to arrogate to themselves the right to determine the fate of the entire world.”

 

Source: African News Agency 

South Africa-China meeting on People to People Exchange

Image: 702.co.za

South Africa’s Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa and China Vice Premier Su Chulan co-chaired a meeting on South Africa-China High-Level-People-to-People Exchange Mechanisms (PPEM). The meeting held on Monday was the second meeting since the launch of the PPEM a over a year ago.

China and South Africa bilateral relations have been fruitful and developed majorly since the launch of the PPEM, said Su. “China-South Africa relations are at a new historical starting point,” she said.

The China Vice Premier said that both countries should implement the reached agreements – boosting people-to-people exchanges and the expansion of  exchange of students studying in each other country.

She further said that China and South Africa should extend cooperation in constructing research centres in fields of mineral resources and forestry – “they should strengthen arts and culture cooperation”.

“The two sides should also promote cooperation in fields including media, sports, tourism, youth,women, think tanks and archives, make the results of people-to-people exchanges benefit the common people and work together to create a new era of China-South Africa relationship,said Su”, as reported by Xinhua .

South Africa’s Nathi Mthethwa acknowledged the development of the relations over the years. China and South Africa should give focus to PPEM in deepening cooperation in various fields in laying foundations for a strategic relationship, Mthethwa further said.

Source: Xinhuanet

BRICS Leaders pay tribute to George HW Bush

Tributes continue to pour for US 41st President who led the country through the end of the cold war and launched a campaign to drive Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait. The former President’s contribution to international relations have been commended by leaders from around the world.

Here’s what leaders of BRICS Nations had to say:

“George Herbert Walker Bush, former president of the United States. An outstanding man, who has faithfully served his country all his life – with a weapon in his hands during the war and in senior government positions during peaceful times – is no longer with us,” – Vladimir Putin

Xi Jinping said that he was “greatly saddened” by the late president’s passing, describing him as “someone who made important contributions to the China-US friendship and relationship during his lifetime.”

“Former President George HW Bush was passionate about strong relations between India and USA. His presence will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace,” – Narendra Modi.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said the thoughts of the South African people are with the American people, and in particular the Bush family, who are mourning the demise of one of their leaders.On 25 June 1990, then-president Bush met with former president Nelson Mandela during Madiba’s first visit to the United States after his release from prison and committed the United States to the removal of apartheid and the introduction of a non-racial democracy in South Africa.

 

 

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

BRICS: We recommit ourselves to the full implementation of the Paris Agreement

Argentina played host of the 2018 G20 summit – the meeting concluded on Saturday. Leaders of the fastest growing emerging economies, BRICS met for the first time since the election of Jair Bolsonaro as Brazil’s President on the sidelines of the G20.

The grouping’s leaders released a statement saying that they are recommit themselves to the full implementation of the Paris agreement.

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance, starting in the year 2020.

The statement was a response to Bolsonaro’s threat to quit to withdraw Brazil from the Paris Agreement.

The Brazil newly elected President has also failed to honour the promise to host the crucial UN Climate talks (COP25) in 2019. Bolsonaro abandoned the plans to host two months after the country agreed to host.

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

2018 G20 Buenos Aires Summit

The G20 Summit gets underway today bringing together 20 plus heads of state of the biggest and emerging economies to Buenos Aires, Argentina. There will also be several invited guest presidents and prime ministers from Jamaica, Rwanda, Senegal and Singapore.

In attendance are North American heads of state from the Canada, USA and Mexico from South America presidents from Argentina, Brazil, and Chile which was invited as a guest. European leaders in attendance from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, European Union and guest leaders from Spain and Netherlands.

This year’s agenda will be the future of work with arrival of the fourth industrial revolution as well as looking into global infrastructure development. The G20 will also discuss sustainable food future which will look in to the effects of climate change on agriculture and regulation of cryptocurrencies – impacts on global economics.

The summit provides an opportunity for US President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping to meet – not on the agenda but US-China tariffs might be other  area of discussion.

 

By Mokgethi Mtezuka’

China contributions to South Africa’s socio-economic development

Image: 702.co.za

China businesses contribute majorly to the development of the Republic of South Africa, this was confirmed by a “Corporate social responsibility Report of Chinese-Funded Enterprises in South Africa” report. The report was compiled by South Africa-China Economic and Trade Association.

The report that was presented on Thursday in Johannesburg highlighted the development of China-South Africa relations and the social transformation that is due to the bilateral relations.

The Association’s chair, Zhang Jinguo said that the report does not only make known the social development successes over the past 20 years  – it gives evidence of the growth of the China-South Africa relations.

The relations according to China Ambassador to South Africa, Lin Songtian, the relations have bore and fulfilled a great social responsibilities. South African communities benefited education and other social charities, said the Ambassador.

 

Source: China.org.cn

Russia’s role in the Eurasian Economic Union

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) brings together 83 million people and a gross domestic product of over $4 trillion. EAEU is run by the Eurasian Economic Commission and the Court of the EAEU form the judicial body. Russia is key party to the EAEU being the country to initiate this union as well as being the largest economy, political and military power in the bloc. 

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is a political and economic union of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia. The bloc creates and opens a single market for the Eurasian countries similar to that of the European Union. It aims to better enhance coordination and cooperation between neighbors – to compete more fluidly in today’s global market.

There are still some areas in the EAEU that still need to be overcome, like making sure competition with in the economic bloc is fair as reported by eng.belta.by. However, Eurasian Economic Union is making great strides like submitting documents of compliance to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and is even looking into expanding the union with Iran seen a potential entrant.

Sanctions on Russia at moment are hindering the EAEU full potential.

 

By Mokgethi Mtezuka’

 

India and Pakistan begin construction of corridor of peace

India and Pakistan are building a border crossing for the free movement of members of the Sikh religion. The corridor aims to open  doors for more peace talks and building ties between the two countries. The two Asian countries have had many conflicts, tension and even fought multiple wars against each other.

Named the Kartarpur Corridor, the border crossing will be 5 kilometers long and connect the Sikh temple in Pakistan with the temple in India, as reported by bbc.com. Kartarpur Corridor is expected to open in 2019. The corridor will be a big move for peace and a historical landmark which encourage tourism between the two countries.

India and Pakistan will still need to do more to bridge the divide between the two nations from years of conflict and hatred however, the Kartarpur Corridor is step in right direction. According to edition.cnn.com leaders from both countries welcomed the move and have now plan to have a regional summit to further consolidate and strengthen ties.

 

By Mokgethi Mtezuka