BRICS Business Forum seeks to boost trade among five members

South Africa, host of the 10th BRICS Summit, held a business forum in opening of the event, yesterday. The event aimed at enhancing trade between members of the BRICS bloc was attended by business and government leaders from member countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

Chinese President Xi Xinping used the forum as a platform to speak against unilateralism and protectionism – Xiping said this in the wake of the US imposing tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods. 

Xinping said; “a trade war should be rejected because there will be no winner.” He added that those who are “pursuing this course would only end up hurting themselves.”

Every year, leaders from the five countries meet to deliberate and make recommendations to governments about ways to harness business opportunities, as well as address trade imbalances.

South Africa has maintained a trade deficit with Brazil and China, with China being the country’s largest trading partner among the BRICS countries, accounting for between 40-75% of annual exports and up to 75% of annual imports.

The New Development Bank has given out loans to the value of $1.7bn this year alone.

The Chairperson of the BRICS Business Council, Iqbal Surve, said initiatives such as the New Development Bank should be used as vehicles to enhance trade between BRICS countries, especially in the face of protectionist policies. 




China rallies BRICS support as US steps out trade-war

China has rallied the backing of BRICS in fighting protectionism as US President Donald Trump has threatened tariff impositions on virtually all Chinese imports.

China, Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa have agreed to “fight against trade protectionism together”, after the G20 Summit of finance ministers and central bankers in Buenos Aires, the Chinese Finance Ministry confirmed in a statement.

Finance Minister Liu Kun told the meeting that BRICS should: ”firmly support economic globalisation and multilateralism and unequivocally oppose unilateralism and protectionism in any form,’’ as the global economy faces increasing uncertainties and instability.

Liu also urged his counterparts to push for advanced nations to adopt “responsible” economic policies, and closely monitor the pressure on capital flows in emerging markets brought forward by policy changes in developed nations.

The statements were released subsequent to Donald Trump saying is he is prepared to impose $500bn in tariffs on imports from China. Trump alleged that the China and European Union are weakening their currencies to obtain trade benefits.

Source: Fin24

BRICS Africa Infrastructure Programme launches

The BRICS establishment continues to break new grounds ahead of the upcoming 10th BRICS Summit.

Wednesday 10 July marked the official launch of the BRICS Africa Infrastructure programme, initiated by the BRICS Business Council Infrastructure Working Group. This is a brand new project portal  that will create and encourage connectivity amongst BRICS member states.

The Infrastructure Working Group in partnership with with Transnet are tasked with the mission of promoting manufacturing, job creation and facilitate interaction among businesses.

Said Transnet Freight Rail Chief Executive, Mr. Ravi Nair: “The Working Group is creating the connectivity of BRICS  projects as a vehicle for project owners to meet with potential funders/sponsors. It will also be available to the global community that is interesting in understanding the status of infrastructure projects and their funding. The projects’ visibility will assist in unlocking more opportunities, funding and to initiate practical cooperation projects in the infrastructure space. The portal will also allow African investors interested in opportunities in other BRICS Member states to have access to project information.”

The portal will be hosted on South Africa’s BRICS business Council website. The BRICS Business Council was established in 2013 with the aim of promoting business engagement between the BRICS countries.

Additional reporting: SABC News

BRICS Friendship Cities, Local Government Cooperation & Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Disaster

The BRICS Friendship cities, Local Government Cooperation and Urbanisation Forum and the meeting of the BRICS Task Force on Disaster Management took place from the 28 June – 1 July in Buffalo City, East London.

A declaration regarding the engagement of BRICS states/provinces through cities and local bodies was signed at the Ministerial Meeting. The Urbanisation Forum’s main goal is to promote people to people cooperation amongst BRICS nations and collaboration at local government level.

The Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Disaster was hosted by the Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Andries Nel. It was an opportunity to discuss South Africa’s socio-economic development and inclusive growth plans, and how BRICS could help in achieving those plans. It also provides a platform in addressing challenges facing the BRICS countries like eco-building, eco-city design, the upgrading of infrastructure and informal settlements as well as new city enlargement proposals.

The disaster meeting was also a chance to learn and share ideas on disaster recovery, how to help municipalities in trouble, how to build durable urban areas, risk management, migration management, how to use urban development to end poverty and help the disadvantaged.

The BRICS meetings was also a knowledge exchange on waste reduction, recycling, climate change and energy usage efficiency. The conclusion of these meetings ended in the signing of two separate declarations as a commitment, to affirm cooperation of BRICS countries with in this department and to create a guideline for moving forward.


BRICS New Development Bank may finance two projects In Russia

The BRICS New Development Bank is considering extending a loan for two projects in Russia.


Russian Finance Minister, Anton Siluanov has confirmed that the BRICS New Development Bank is considering extending a loan for two projects in Russia: the Amur gas processing plant (GCP) and the petrochemical plant in Tobolsk. The Finance Minister says: “The New Development Bank is currently considering in respect of possible financing the application of Sibur Company for construction of the petrochemical plant in Tobolsk and the Amur GPP construction project, implemented in the context of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline construction agreement,”

However, the decision on participation of the bank in these projects has not yet been taken and applications have not been presented to the NDB Board of Directors. The Finance Minister stated that “the applications undergo review by the management of the Bank and proactive consultations with potential borrowers are held. If all conditions are negotiated, the issue of credit extension can be considered by the end of this year.”

The Amur GCP is scheduled for commissioning in 2021 at the earliest. The gas chemical plant will process fractions of the natural gas. The main feedstock supplier for the GCP will be the Amur Gas Processing Plant of Gazprom, which will be built within the framework of gas supplies to China over the Power of Siberia gas pipeline.


MOSCOW, May 21. /TASS/.
Russian News Agency

Why the Brazilian interest rate was cut to a record low

The board of directors of the Central Bank recently decided to cut the basic interest rate for the Brazilian economy, known as Selic (The Sistema Especial de Liquidação e Custodia (SELIC). The rate was reduced from 7% to 6.50% per year, reaching the lowest recorded rate since it was first set in 1986.

According to Reuters, the Central Bank has indicated that it will continue cutting interest rates at its May meeting.
“Unless the Brazilian real comes under pressure for domestic or external reasons, the Central Bank will be in no hurry to begin the tightening cycle,” economists at Societe Generale wrote in a report.

The Brazilian government has attributed this calculated condition to numerous factors, including fiscal adjustments, public spending ceiling and a general more positive economic stance.

A lower interest rate is good news for the consumer because it means better access to jobs, stronger economic growth and greater access to credit.

Source : Reuters,

BRICS bank loans favour technological innovation projects: VP

Displayed with permission from China Daily

The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) is interested in lending to technological innovation projects, the bank’s vice president Zhu Xian said Saturday at a financing forum held in east Chinese city of Xiamen.

Established to meet emerging economies’ funding needs, the multilateral lender approved loans worth $1.5 billion last year, mainly to finance clean energy and infrastructure developments in BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

The BRICS share of the world economy shot up from 8.2 percent in 2002 to 22.2 percent in 2015. The BRICS now represents two thirds of the developing world’s economy.

Zhu said the bank aims to foster technological innovation in developing nations through its financing, capability building, and knowledge sharing.

He said such lending priority will set the bank on a new path different from the one taken by traditional multilateral financial institutions.

The developing nations account for more than 35 percent of the world economy, but lacks an equal share of deciding power in traditional multilateral lenders, Zhu said. Trillions of fund is needed every year as the developing world strives to upgrade industries and develop new energy sector.

“That will be the priority of BRICS NDB and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB),” Zhu said.

He said China has accumulated rich experience in technological innovation on infrastructure projects and is open to share such experience with other developing nations.

“We will frame the BRICS NDB as a knowledge bank, through its project financing and knowledge sharing,” Zhu said.

The BRICS NDB was established in 2014 with an initial fund of $100 billion pooled from five BRICS countries. The bank was launched in Shanghai in July 2015 and issued its first loan in April 2016.


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