BRICS bank to boost South African loans by R8.1 billion

The New Development Bank (NDB) has intentions to loan approximately R8.1 billion more to South Africa, in a bid to attain symmetry among BRICS members.

The NDB, backed by BRICS, began operations in 2015 to aid infrastructure and sustainable development initiatives in emerging economies. The leaders of the fastest growing economies will be gathering in Johannesburg for the 10th BRICS Summit next week.

“Our aim is to be equitable among our five members,” NDB President KV Kamath said. “If you look at the $4 billion (R54 billion) we will be doing this year, we should be lending around $800 million” in each nation, he said. “I hope this year, we will hit that number.”

The formerly known BRIC Bank issued a statement in May saying that it loaned $200 million (R2.7 billion) to a state-owned South African ports and freight operator, Transnet to rehabilitate container terminals in Durban on the country’s east coast.
It will accelerate efforts to grow sustainable infrastructure in the continents most industrialised economy with two further loans, Kamath added. He said during an interview on Wednesday that one of the two loans will go to a bank, which will lend the funds for use in renewable energy developments. The other loan will be made available for critical infrastructure.

Separately, the NDB on Thursday activated a $180 million (R2.4 billion) loan to Eskom that had been dormant since 2016. The loan will be used to build transmission lines and a substation for the Soweto area to integrate renewable-energy projects from independent power producers, Anil Sooklal, South Africa’s Brics Ambassador told reporters in Johannesburg.

The Shanghai-based bank will also begin raising money and lending in South African rand to help insulate its clients from currency risk, Kamath said. It already does this in China.

Source: Money Web

Cyril’s $100billion target will be reached in a year – Prof Anil Sooklal

Professor Anil Sooklal, South African BRICS ambassador, speaking at a BRICS roundtable event at the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone this afternoon, 17 July 2018. Picture: ANA

A BRICS roundtable gathering heard that the President Cyril Ramaphosa is a South Africa’s greatest salesman and that his leadership style attracts investments.

Ramaphosa set a target of $100 billion in local and foreign investment in boosting the economy is modest said Prof Anil Sooklal.

Sooklal who is the South African ambassador of BRICS said “The $100 billion is a modest target. I believe we will reach that in a year,” He is also the deputy director-general for Asia and the Middle East at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco).

Sooklal spoke at a BRICS roundtable discussion with captains of industry at the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone this afternoon. The event was a precursor to the annual BRICS Business Council meeting taking place in Durban from July 22 to 23, hosted by South Africa.

It was reported last week that Ramaphosa on a state visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last week, he secured a $10 billion minimum investment from the Saudis and another $10 billion from the UAE.

“The Chinese ambassador has said he wants to bring at least $30 billion during the investment summit, and I am sure this will materialize,” said Sooklal. China’s president will be attending the BRICS summit in South Africa.


Source: The Citizen



India, Russia explore avenues to align SCO with UN, ASEAN to address key challenges

India and Russia are exploring avenues to align matters that take predominance of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) with UN and ASEAN to target intercontinental challenges including the terror that is unfolding globally.

Growing the SCO’s global outreach was the subject matter of a recent Indo-Russian in Moscow held in the backdrop of India’s participation in the SCO summit as a member for the first time. SCO is seeking to build a relationship in addressing international terrorism, extremism, money laundering and illicit drug trafficking.

SCO plans to conclude an agreement with UN counter terror department later this year. This pact will further enhance India’s proposal for an UN comprehensive counter terror disposition presented by Delhi two decades ago.  India’s suggestion was backed by the SCO.

Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) of SCO has been recognised as one of the successful multilateral counter-terror bodies which can support efforts of the UN to combat terror.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov referring to SCO’s global outreach said recently “Given the complicated, multi-directional and contradictory processes in global politics and the economy, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is gaining traction as a dynamically growing international organisation that is playing an increasingly important role in international affairs.”

Source: The economic times

US sanctions on Russia could harm India


The US congress is trying to find ways around the sanctions imposed on Russia by the US. This was done so that the sanction does not affect USA defence contracts with India and other Asian countries.

Members of the Trump administration are looking for loopholes so that Asian countries allied with the USA can still do business with Russia in certain areas.

Republican Senator Chuck Schumer has slammed the move and called for more sanctions to be placed on Russia. The sanctions were imposed because of Russia’s alleged interference in the US election.

The sanctions have the unintended consequence of harming US allies in Asia from accessing Indo-Pacific Defence markets. The US aims at helping India become a stabilizing force against China.

The Trump Administration is arguing that the sanction only help encourage US partners to deal more with Russia rather than the opposite. They also alleged that the sanction also have an impact on future American interests and future contracts.

Source: Defense News

Apple loses three Indian executives as company struggles with iPhone sales

Apple’s Indian division has lost its national sales and distribution chief, the head of its commercial channels and mid-market business, and the head of carrier sales.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is currently facing more challenges in the world’s fastest-growing major Smartphone market, which has resulted to the division’s sales restructuring.

Counterpoint research director, Neil Shah said: “iPhone India sales were weak in the first half of 2018 and, even if they show a big jump in the traditionally strong second half, Apple will still fall short of last year,” he said.

The company is said to have sold 3.2 million iPhones in 2017, and less than a million in the first half of this year. Its current marketshare is just 2%.

Apple’s unwillingness to build cheaper models to compete with the likes of Samsung and Xiaomi have resulted to iPhone having a single-digit marketshare in India for years.

Shad mentioned that the company has not put great focus or investments into India because the market is so minuscule.

The research director added that the inattention could send more users to Android phones, making it difficult for Apple to build user-based and win loyalty.


Source: Bloomberg

Third Annual BRICS Games underway

South Africa’s Department of Sports and Recreation is hosting the third annual BRICS games from today, 17 July – 22 July at Wits University in Johannesburg. The BRICS member countries will be competing in 2 key sporting categories, namely Football U17 women, and Volleyball U21 men and women 6-aside teams.

The BRICS Games were established in 2016 and the inaugural tournament was played in Goa, 2016 which saw Brazil finishing as champions while South Africa emerged as runners-up. The games are set to help facilitate sports and cultural exchanges among BRICS nations.

This year’s BRICS games are in commemoration of the centenary of South African Struggle icons Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu. The South African women’s football team, Abantwana (U17) will use this as preparation for the U17 women’s World Cup to be held later on this year in Uruguay. During an interview with IOL, Abantwana captain, Simphiwe Dludlu said that they are looking at improving on defence more than anything.

The games serve as an opportunity for the South African team to study Brazil’s U17 as they will also be partaking in the World Cup.

They are an important part of association between BRICS countries. The BRICS Games sideline the upcoming BRICS Media Forum and 10th BRICS summit.

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

India becomes sixth largest economy in the world

A new report from World Bank shown that India has become the world’s sixth largest economy, surpassing France.

According to the report data, India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has amounted to USD 2.59 trillion against France’s USD 2.58 trillion.

India’s economy has grown at a seven-quarter high of 7.7% in the three months ended March 2018.

According to Indian Express,  India has doubled its GDP within a decade and is expected to power ahead as a key economic engine in Asia, even as China slows down.

The World Bank report states that India is expected to exceed the fifth largest economy, the United Kingdom in the near future. The UK is currently facing Brexit blues with a GDP of USD 2.62 trillion in 2017.

The Bank also included that the United States is the world’s largest economy with a GDP of USD 19.39 trillion, followed by China (USD 12.23 trillion) in second place. Japan (USD 4.87 trillion) and Germany (USD 3.67 trillion) sit jointly in third place.

The International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook that was released in April this year, stated that the size of the Indian economy was pegged at USD 2.61 trillion, ahead of France with a GDP of USD 2.58 trillion.


India raises trade deficit issue with China at WTO

India, much like the USA has a problem with China, in terms of trade. The Indian government has noted to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), an above average trade deficit with China.

In addition to visa and work permit constraints for Indian professionals, the country has also has received harsh treatment in terms of exporting IT service, meat, rice and medicines to China. There is an unfair trade surplus for China measured at $89.6 Billion for the years 2017 to 2018.

In its complaint to the WTO of China’s trade policy, India has said that this India-China trade deficit is unsustainable, and the problem needs to be fixed. On the other hand, India like many other countries today, is also looking for Chinese investment in terms of manufacturing and infrastructure.

India is not the only country in conflict with China’s trade policies, the US and EU have both called for China to open up its economy and allow for reciprocal trade and fair business practices.


South Africans can visit these 102 countries now without a visa

Henley & Partners, a travel advisor has released an index indicating which countries have the most visa-free or visa-on-arrival access. The data is collected from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), maintain the world’s largest database on travel information.

Visa-free travel is a key tool when it comes to building business ties, generating tourism revenue, help with attaining foreign direct investment and trade partners. Most European countries have long implemented these policies, with Africa now starting to show improvement.

South Africa is one of those African countries setting the benchmark for visa-free travel, moving to 102 countries that a South African passport can take you (visa-free). Unfortunately 33 countries of the 102 are Visa-on-Arrival or Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA).


Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA











Reunion Island






St. Helena

Cape Verde Islands        


Comores Islands              













Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA

Macao (SAR China)         

South Korea      



Hong Kong (SAR China)





Sri Lanka









Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA
Antigua and Barbuda


St. Lucia


Dominican Republic

St. Vincent and the Grenadines



Trinidad and Tobago

British Virgin Islands


Turks and Caicos Islands

Cayman Islands

St. Kitts and Nevis           



Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA




El Salvador



Falkland Islands







Costa Rica




Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA
Cook Islands





Palau Islands



Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA


Russian Federation



Middle East/Other

Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA


Palestinian Territory










Two Indian-origin women on Forbes list of America’s richest self-made women

Two India-origin women have made it to the Forbes’ list of America’s 60 richest self-made women.

President and CEO of a computer networking firm Arista Networks, Jayshree Ullal is ranked 18th in the list of 60 self-made women, having a net worth of 1.3 billion dollars.

Her career began with engineering and strategy positions at Advanced Micro Devices and Fairchild Semiconductor.

Ullal was born in London and raised in New Delhi India, she is now one of America’s wealthiest female executives.

Forbes said: “America’s top female entrepreneurs have shattered ceilings and scaled new heights, creating companies and building fortunes in everything from genetic testing to aerospace. Increasingly these self-made starters are tapping social media to cement their brands and build businesses ever more quickly”. 

Neerja Sethi is the vice president of IT consulting and outsourcing company Syntel, a company she co-founded with her husband Bharat Desai in 1980 in their apartment in Troy, Michigan.

She is ranked 21st on Forbes’ list of America’s 60 richest self-made women with a net worth of one billion dollars. 

Forbes added that Syntel racked up USD 924 million in 2017 revenues and has 23,000 employees, 80% of whom are in India.

Source: Forbes