President Cyril Ramaphosa will meet with leaders of China, Brazil, Russia and India at the BRICS Leaders’ Summit this week, with the global economy set to be a major talking point among the world leaders.

Writing in his weekly letter to the public, Ramaphosa said this week’s summit aims to usher in a ‘new era for global development’ that is more inclusive, sustainable and fair.

“Through the reform of the multilateral system, including the United Nations, and by refocusing the attention and resources of the global community on the sustainable development agenda, the BRICS group can support a sustained and equitable global recovery,” he said.

“The BRICS Leaders’ Summit is a valuable platform for South Africa to strengthen ties with its partner countries in support of our own growth and employment creation. More than that, the summit is our opportunity to contribute to a better world, in which all countries have a better chance to recover from this pandemic and to flourish.”

In 2021, over 17% of South Africa’s exports were destined for other BRICS countries, while over 29% of our total imports came from these countries.

These countries are therefore significant trading partners, and the value of this trade is continuing to grow. Total South African trade with other BRICS countries reached R702 billion in 2021 up from R487 billion in 2017.

Ramaphosa said the New Development Bank – also known as the BRICS Bank – is also expected to play an important role in providing financial and project preparation support for infrastructure and sustainable development projects.

“South Africa has already received $5.4 billion, currently worth around R86 billion, from the New Development Bank to improve service delivery in critical areas. The bank also demonstrated its flexibility in rapidly approving $2 billion for each BRICS member under the Covid-19 Emergency Loan Programme to fund the fight against the pandemic and to support our economic recovery.”

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