The rise of Chinese plug-in vehicle market is unstoppable

The demand for electric vehicles in China has gained more momentum as the country aims to sharpen its edge by taking fossil fuel powered vehicles off the road.

Sales have increased as more cities joined the electric vehicles era to find a solution to traffic jams and reduce carbon emissions. 

Last year, the total of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) sales in China were 2.8 times above that of the Unite States.

According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), China sold about 555,300 vehicles compared to just below 200,000 in the US.

Chinese electric vehicle brands like Weltmeister and Byton have expertise and insight into the industry, previously holding top positions within established car companies Fiat and BMW.

Weltmeister aims to make its cars affordable to Chinese consumers, while Byton targets the high-end market by taking electric vehicles of BMW, Benz and Tesla as their rivals.

According to China news, it is not an easy job to set a brand and make it stand out.

Investors have offered financial support for these ventures and are patiently awaiting more turnovers. 


Pint and a game, anyone?  

Beer sales and stock prices in China have risen just ahead of the FIFA World Cup that will take place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July.

Numerous Chinese football fans will be watching the tournament in bars and restaurants where beer consumption is particularly high. According to Tmall statistics, beer sales had already picked up in May, with monthly sales volume increasing by nearly 100%.  During May, the beer sales reached 1.3 million bottles on a single-day.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange Index revealed that beer stocks have risen, this includes Yanjing Beer, Chongqing Beer, Lanzhou Huanghe and Pearl River Beer.

It it evident that The FIFA World Cup has boosted the beer sector which has seen higher sales compared to previous years.

In 2017, the sales revenue from Chongqing Beer’s low-end products such as Chongqing 33 and Shancheng dropped by 2.07%, and that of medium-range products Lebor and Chongqing Guobin declined by 1.81%.

In the first quarter of 2018 Chongqing Beer, a subsidiary of Denmark’s Carlsberg Group in China, sold 214,000 kilolitres of beer, up 3.33% year-on-year, and its revenue reached 813 million yuan, up 10.73% year-on-year.

Marketing research firm Euromonitor International, stated that more than 30% of the beer market in China will be medium and high-end products by 2020.

An Independent food and beverage analyst, Zhu Danpeng, said: “World Cup-themed marketing efforts are focusing less on traditional retailers such as supermarkets because their customers are mainly middle-aged and elderly people, who are price-sensitive and no longer belong to the core audience for soccer games.”

He added that restaurants and bars are becoming a major battlefield for attracting consumers, as their customers tend to be less sensitive to beer prices and are easier to sell medium-and-high end products to.

BRICS Journal supports responsible drinking.

Source: China Daily

China seeks to support militancy fight at security summit

This weekend China will be part of a regional security summit where it seeks to support the fight against extremism. One of the closest associates to attend the summit will be the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia and China jointly launched the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2001 to combat radical Islam and other security concerns in their own countries and across Central Asia.

The two nations added India and Pakistan as the new members. Iran on the other hand has been knocking at the door since last year. Tehran is currently an observer rather than a full member of a bloc that also includes four ex-Soviet Central Asian republics.

China’s official said, “One of the pressing tasks facing the SCO is to continue fighting against militants of the Islamic State who, following the extremist group’s defeat in Syria and Iraq, have returned to their native countries, some of which are SCO members or observers,”

“Member countries have destroyed more than 500 training bases for armed militants and arrested some 2,000 members of “international terrorist organizations” between 2013 and 2017,” the official said.

According to Reuters, China faces a threat from Islamist militants in its far western region of Xinjiang, where hundreds have been killed in unrest in recent years.

The head of SCO Research Centre allied to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Sun Zhuangzhi said: “The traditional hostility between India and Pakistan could affect the efficiency of the SCO’s decision-making process,”


Operation: First Carrier Strike Group, China’s Navy Moves to elite level

China’s navy has made another step in solidifying itself as a major naval force. This week the People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) aircraft carrier reached initial operational capabilities named the Liaoning aircraft carrier.

China has been steadily growing its navy with new ships being produced at an impressive pace. While the Liaoning, built from a Russian Soviet-era hull, has been in use for several years. It’s mostly been involved in training exercises and only this week came into combat readiness. It’s a comprehensive system of offense and defense that has now been effectively tested.

The Type 001A is another aircraft carrier completely built in China, is slated to join the fleet but is still in the testing phase. The Chinese government has suggested, it may developing six carriers to complete its fleet.  Six aircraft carrier is seen as efficient enough to advance China’s regional interests and help deal with emergencies on several fronts.

There’s no exact number of carriers china is planning to build but it stated it has no interest in having the same number of carriers as the United States.


10th BRICS Summit hot topics

The BRICS 10th summit will be taking place next month in Johannesburg, South Africa. The global community will have their eyes on this summit. In its 10th year running, it’s a good time to reflect on what’s been achieved and make decisions for the future.

  1. With recent unpredictable and drastic foreign policies introduced by United States President Donald Trump, most recently visible in the realms of nuclear proliferation and trade, the global economy has been shaken. The BRICS member countries have called for fair trades and an open economy previously, the tariffs and sanctions are in contradiction with their principles and thus it will be on top of the list of the things to discuss. Xi Jinping,  President of the People’s Republic of China, has won the battle of narratives against Trump, and the Chinese leader is regarded as a global stabilizer and defender of global rules and norms, while Trump is seen as a source of risk. BRICS members will need to look at this issue and set a united standing point.
  2.  The US Foreign policy and dependence on China is not the only thing that binds the BRICS member countries. The establishment of the New Development Bank and the plans to add additional members to increase the institution’s capacity has been an achievement for BRICS. The Bank has currently approved more than US$ 5 billion in financing for infrastructure projects since its establishment. The countries will use the summit to discuss how they can reduce non-tariff barriers amongst themselves and seek ways to continue promoting the “people-to-people” ties, which improved markedly over the past decade, but which remain well below what they could be.
  3.  This being South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s first summit since he took over from Former President Jacob Zuma, the Ramaphosa will be given an  opportunity to tell the BRICS community how he plans to turn around South Africa’s economic standing. The South African Chairmanship, is also important for Ramaphosa’s election campaign as South Africa will be going into elections next year, for this reason President Ramaphosa will also need to convince the South African community that he is ready to take the country forward.
  4. Brazil has faced increased economic instability over the years, with the elections later in October, the new Brazilian President will go straight into taking Chairmanship of BRICS in 2019. This means the current President of Brazil, Michel Temer, will not have much ground to shape debate at this year’s summit as he will be finishing off his term. The next President will have an advantage of starting their term and chairing BRICS in 2019. This leaves little weight for the President Temer.(Source: Post-Western World)


#TravelTuesday : Claim To Fame

Brazil is home to the biggest carnival in the world, and the Rio Carnival sees over 2-million people per day on the city’s streets.

Russia is home to the world’s longest rail journey – the Trans-Siberian. It starts in Moscow and ends in Vladivostok, with the train crossing several time zones. In addition to the endless birch forests of Siberia, the scenery includes the Ural Mountains and Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake in the world. Distance 5,753 miles while duration is in six days.

India has the largest postal network in the world with over 155, 015 post offices. A single post office on average serves a population of 7,175 people. The country is also home to the world’s only floating post office, which has been operating in Dal Lake, Srinagar since August 2011. 

China is where toilet paper was invented, with simple but much-needed product’s origins dating back to the pre-1300s, when it was exclusively for the emperor’s use.

South Africa is home to the world’s largest bird (ostrich), largest mammal (bull elephant), smallest mammal (dwarf shrew), largest reptile (leatherback sea turtle : 1,500 pounds), largest earthworm (African giant earthworm), fastest animal (cheetah ), tallest animal (giraffe) and the largest fish (whale shark). 



India is now fastest growing economy

The Indian economy boosted by the manufacturing, farming and construction sectors, is now growing faster than the Chinese economy for months of January and March. India’s economy grew almost 8 per cent while China’s grew at almost 7 per cent for first three of the year. Increase in investment, plus the increase construction activity on infrastructure, has the government expecting an even further increase throughout the year.

Growth of the Indian economy is good for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is looking at trying to get a second term in next year’s elections. Most economist now expect interest rates in India to be raised as this growth has outperformed previous forecasts. With the Monsoon Season already on its way, the agriculture sector is also expect grow even further.  The rainfall during the monsoon is known for encouraging Indian farmer output and increasing rural spending

But this growth could be affect by increases in the crude oil prices, which could put pressure on the Indians currency the rupee. Plus the new global trade tariff tirade unleashed by US President Donald Trump could slow global grow and limit India’s exports.



BRICS Academic Forum Closes With Recommendation for Heads of State Summit

Image: iStock

The final day of the Academic Forum was the media briefing chaired by South African Professor Ari Sitas. Over the 4 days, intensive debates, discussions and the consensus  was reached. The consensus consisted around ideas, process and entities they want to see created. 

The recommendations will first be sent to track one institutions and/or negotiators and then to the heads of states summit. Some recommendations don’t reach approval status, but the academic forum is the starting point of idea generation for BRICS. Establishing its agenda and how to proceed to achieve these goals. There were five main areas that the BRICS academic forum discussed, debating and applied their minds to.

First was economic prosperity of the BRICS people or citizens what are the mechanism, processes and institutions necessary for the BRICS nations to develop in a responsible way and achieve their goals. For instance smart manufacturing, defining inclusion and how to look at prosperity and the wellbeing of the people.

The second area was universal health provisions and social protects, they want to be absolutely decisive in addressing the problems confronting the majority of the poor people. Moving to developing vaccines for the most dangerous Virus, bacteria and diseases like Zika, Ebola, HIV/Aids etc. Also comparing methods of social protection and how to look after the majority of their people.

The third area of discussion was how to enhance the education, creative and scientific powers together as a BRICS family, possible through co-operations, universities and research and development system in order to make sure society and their minds are well defined.

The fourth area was around peace and security and following in the principle of having a passive world, a world of reconciliatory and devoid of conflict, they would like to intensify this area the most. Finally the fifth area was around looking after BRICS commons like natural commons, space commons and everything from nature and how to be responsible in developing the relations in respect of that.

Brazil Speaker Ivan Oliveira, acknowledged that there is a lot to be done, but there’s a lot BRICS is doing and hopes to see BRICS next year in Brazil with a continues agenda, so that this BRICS academic engagement can have real value, to create bridges all of the world, continuing to foster BRICS co-operation in the 5 areas.

The Russian speaker Georgy Toloraya, spoke on how BRICS has come a very long way over the years, starting off not knowing each other to now having a stronger relationship. He also stated that some recommendations made, may not see the light of day. But stressed the recommendations that did make it to approval like the BRICS bank and energy structures are all ideas originating from BRICS think tanks and deliberations. 

The Indian speaker Ambassador Viswanathan, spoke on the creation of the BRICS think tank which is 5 years old now and was created due to mostly South Africa initiatives. He also spoken on India’s willingness to collaborate with South Africa and the BRICS Members on any initiative.

From China Dong Weihua,  thanked South Africa for hosting providing a platform for the BRICS scholars and experts, to gather and contribute wisdom for the next ten years. She spoke about the adoptions of the recommendations as a testimony of the BRICS spirit featuring openness, inclusiveness, and women comprehension. This year we see the magnification of the cooperation, determination and willingness of the five countries to further their comprehension.

Any adopted recommendation to the BRICS leaders’ summit, will make the forums collective voices heard to supported multilateralism and multi trade system. Also any adoption demonstrates our common goals of development and prosperity.

Media Statement on South Africa’s Media arrangements for the 10th BRICS Summit

The Minister of Communications, Ms Nomvula Mokonyane is pleased to announce the media developments of South Africa’s hosting of the 10th Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit to be hosted at the Sandton International Convention Centre from 25-27 July 2018.

The BRICS approach is informed by the need to deepen, broaden and intensify relations within the grouping and among the individual countries for more sustainable, equitable and mutually beneficial development. This approach takes into consideration each member’s growth, development and poverty objectives to ensure relations are built on the respective country’s economic strengths and to avoid competition where possible.

The bloc offers a unique opportunity for BRICS countries to extend and advance their cooperation in ways that meaningfully promote their economic development agendas as well as that of other developing countries.

South Africa assumed the rotational Chairship of BRICS from 1 January to 31 December 2018. The 2018 Summit will be a seminal milestone for BRICS cooperation, as it represents a decade of BRICS cooperation at the highest diplomatic level.

This Summit is held under the theme “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution”.

The theme is reflective of the core priorities of each one of the BRICS members, notably to strive towards the creation of an inclusive society and global partnerships that will bring prosperity to all humankind.

The theme is intended to align and ensure strategic continuity with the approved themes for South Africa’s Chairship of both the South African Development Community (SADC) and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).:

Plans are underway to ensure the successful hosting of the Summit. South Africa has made headway on media coordination and members of the media are now invited to apply to be accredited for the 10th BRICS Summit.

Media interested in covering the summit should use the link below to complete the online registration form.

In aligning with the customs regulations, journalists using passports as identification should note that the Passports should be valid for at least 30 days beyond the expected date of departure to South Africa.

The passports must have at least two (2) unused pages when presented for endorsements.

Yellow fever vaccination certificates will be required from the following:
 Guests over one year of age who come from yellow fever endemic regions or
 Guests who have passed through such regions
 Quarantine may be imposed as per the health regulations

All journalists who require a visa to enter South Africa must obtain it from the nearest South African Embassy/High Commissions in each country.

The closing date for the 10th BRICS Summit Media Accreditation is Monday, 22 June 2018.

For more information on the Summit, please visit:

Members of the public are encouraged to follow the BRICS conversation by using the #BRICS2018

Accreditation contacts: Ms Mmemme Mogotsi on 072 856 4288 or Ms Kgopotso Rapakuana on 073 058 3876

10th BRICS Summit enquiries: Mr Ndivhuwo Mabaya, 083 645 7838

Issued by Government Communication and Information System
31 May 2018

BRICS Academic Forum tackles peace & security and gender relations

The 10th BRICS academic forum got underway on Monday the 28th of May, 2018 at the Sandton Convention Centre. The four-day BRICS Think Tank Council and Academic Forum brings together the educational leaders of the bloc, to discuss topics ranging from peace and security, energy, gender relations and regional integration.

Chaired by Diane Parker, she shared that the aim of the forum is to build greater co-operation and better understanding of public policy, which will result in the needed change in the BRICS nations, to better the lives of the economic bloc’s citizens. This will help BRICS have a larger reach on the global stage and strengthen the relationship between member states. The other goals of the forum are to engage, network and try to find opportunities that can be collaborated on.

In attendance on the opening day of the forum was South African Minister of Higher Education and Training Naledi Pandor, who spoke about the genesis of the BRICS think tank, reflecting on the challenges facing the academic forum and how to bring together the intellectual capacity of the BRICS nations.

Chair of the South African BRICS Think Tank (SABTT) Ari Sitas, discussed how to advise over our BRICS leaders, how do we think, how do we create change, how do we view the world, how does the world view BRICS, how do we change perceptions and how do we build knowledge and take it forward.

From Brazil the Director of International Studies, Institute for applied economic Research (IPEA) Ivan Oliveira, spoke about how we institutionalise our ideas and take them to the people.

Executive Director of the Russian National Committee on BRICS Research Georgy Toloraya, challenged us to do more, to start asking difficult questions, acknowledging where BRICS came from, to how do we then raise problems and find solutions for them, to use our intellectual capabilities to be more critical thinking.

From India Samir Saran the President of the observer research foundation (ORF) detailed the three key areas challenging BRICS at the moment: identity, inequality and prosperity, how do we take on these challenges globally and on a local level as well.

The final speaker was from China, Dong Weihua the Deputy Secretary General of CCBTC, Deputy Director General of IDCPC, who spoke about action, what we need to do as BRICS to succeed, new ways to think about BRICS, how to use the various Think Tanks in each nation to draw out their usefulness and how do we take that to our leaders.

Parker closed out the day summarising the key talking areas of the opening and adding that, the next few days, different academic leaders from different backgrounds will divulge in greater detail the main topic of the forum.