SOUTH African President Jacob Zuma says socio-economic challenges confronting developing countries must now be addressed within the current dynamics.
He said the challenges to these countries are similar and they comprise poverty alleviation, creation of sustainable development, reducing inequality in standards of living and economic growth.
“These challenges are not new. They have long been recognised, and measures have been put in place to deal with them. We must now address them within the current dynamics.
“It is in this regard that we need to continue to vigorously partner each other to advance our shared vision,” said Zuma.
He was speaking during the Interaction with the BRICS Business Council Members on the occasion of the 7th BRICS Summit held at Ufa, in Russia.
The Summit was hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, over two days at the beginning of July, under the theme “BRICS Partnership – a Powerful Factor of Global Development”.
The Summit was attended by government and business leaders in emerging economies, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Eurasian Economic Bloc, who hold what Zuma calls a constructive dialogue on the vast array of opportunities aimed at leading the growth of the world economy.
Zuma said despite the unfavourable global economic climate characterised by the sluggish economic recovery, the BRICS countries have been at the forefront of global recovery, recording favourable export growth with exports to the rest of the world increasing from 1.9 trillion US dollars in 2009 to 4.2 trillion US dollars in 2013.
“South Africa recognises the fact that in order to strengthen the BRICS brand globally, it is imperative to invest all our efforts in making sure that the environment remains conducive for investment and potential investors.
“In this regard, I commend the signing of the Declaration on Investment Principles amongst our BRICS Business Council Leaders which provides a framework for enhanced investment cooperation amongst our respective countries. I also welcome the newly established Working Groups on Deregulation and Agri – Business,” said Zuma.
He noted the success stories achieved by the Business Council, such as The China South Rail and China North Rail venture with South Africa’s SOC Transnet, South Africa’s Bell equipment with Russian based Kamaz on a capital equipment prototype that can be viewed in Ufa.
“I am also proud to announce that in 2014, in an attempt to expedite the creation of business to business linkages, the South African department of Home Affairs announced a 10 year multiple entry visa regime for BRICS business travellers.
“I hope this intervention will enable you the Captains of Industry to engage in a process of continuous and sustainable dialogue amongst yourselves and give credence to the true spirit of BRICS in the commercial sense,” he said.
He implored fellow BRICS members to consider similar measures that will ensure an introduction of a harmonised visa regime amongst themselves.
He said the onus lies with respective members of the BRICS Business Council to make a concerted effort in emancipating citizens from the clutches of underdevelopment and poverty.
“I call upon you our friends to partner with us as we jointly tackle these challenges and identify synergies and complementary solutions which I believe to be within our reach.
“Our collective capacity and co-operation in bargaining and voicing concerns that affect our economies in international forums has been highly effective. We must move together to develop our economies to higher levels and use our capacities for mutual growth and development,” he said.
He assured the Summit of South Africa’s commitment in creating a conducive environment that will yield the desired outcomes as they relate to identified priorities.
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