Wednesday, 22 June 2022 10:29

South Africa to strengthen ties with Russia, China and partners.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead South Africa’s participation in the virtual 14th BRICS Leaders' Summit, hosted by the People’s Republic of China, from 23 to 24 June 2022.

The summit will be chaired by President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, as chair of BRICS for 2022, under the theme, 'Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership: Usher in a New Era for Global Development'.

The programme will include opening remarks, which are open to the media and the BRICS High-level Dialogue on Global Development.

Ahead of Thursday's summit, the President will today deliver a pre-recorded message at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum, scheduled for 13h00 SAST.

The President will also participate in the opening ceremony of the BRICS Leaders' Summit on Thursday, as well as the BRICS High-level Dialogue on Global Development scheduled for Friday.

Ramaphosa will lead a delegation comprising Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor; Minister in The Presidency, Mondli Gungubele; Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana; Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel and Minister of Small Business Development, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

BRICS is a grouping of five major emerging economies - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - which together represent about 41% of the world’s population, 26% of the planet’s land mass across four of the continents, 25% of global GDP and 20% of world trade.

The grouping was established as a forum of like-minded, progressive emerging market and developing countries.

This association is committed to restructuring the global political, economic, and financial architecture to be more inclusive, fair, representative and democratic, with meaningful and greater participation of developing countries.

"The leaders will focus on strengthening intra-BRICS relations and mutually beneficial cooperation across the BRICS pillars of cooperation, namely, political and security, economic and finance, social, and people-to-people partnership, "the Presidency said in a statement.

The summit will also receive reports from the BRICS National Security Advisors, the Chair of the BRICS Business Council, the Chair of the BRICS Women's Business Alliance, and the President of the New Development Bank.

The summit will also consider for adoption the BRICS 2022 Beijing Declaration, which emphasises the priorities of the Chinese chairship in 2022.

These priorities entail the three BRICS pillars of cooperation, which are enhancing trust, communication and coordination on global and regional issues; deepening practical cooperation in all fields, and enhancing dialogue and cooperation with other emerging markets and developing countries to broaden South-South cooperation for common development and prosperity.

For this year’s summit, the Presidency said among the expected outcomes are a standalone BRICS High-level Meeting on Climate Change; the adoption of an Action Plan for the Implementation of the Agreement between the Governments of the BRICS States on Cooperation in the Field of Culture, as well as the adoption of a BRICS Digital Economy Partnership Framework.

Others include a BRICS Initiative on Trade and Investment for Sustainable Development, a BRICS Initiative on Enhancing Cooperation on Supply Chains, a BRICS Strategy on Food Security Cooperation, a BRICS Initiative on Denial of Safe Haven to Corruption and Implementing Procedures of Joint Observation for the BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation.

"South Africa's membership of BRICS enables the country to employ additional and powerful tools in its fight to address its domestic triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality through science, technology and innovation, energy, health, and education cooperation, as well as through BRICS financing for infrastructure development, capacity building, research, educational and skilling, trade, investment, and tourism opportunities," the Presidency said.

South Africa has made concerted efforts to place the African continent and the Global South on the agenda of BRICS, and to harmonise policies adopted in regional and international fora, particularly Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.