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.