Partnerships in manufacturing vital for Brics success – Davies
The success of the Brics partnership will be measured not only in the amount that trade will increase by, but also in the partnerships that members will be able to develop in supporting productive capacity, said the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies. Speaking at a forum held during the Brics Business Council yesterday in the city, Davies said South Africa and developing countries had the chance to forge a more development-friendly type of governance through the Brics grouping. Davies said trade ministers had in earlier discussions agreed that they would support regional integration and industrialisation measures between their respective countries.
Trade ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) today also pledged increased support to the African continent. Brazil’s Minister of Development Industry and Foreign Trade, Fernando Pimental, said it was important to strengthen commercial ties between Brics members and to increase trade with African countries, adding that Africa needed to be helped.
India’s Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles, Anand Sharma, said India had made a considered decision to share its information technology capabilities with Africa. Through the Pan African e-Network Project, tele-education and tele-medicine technologies linked key universities and doctors in 47 Africa countries with those in India.
The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (Itec) had also offered scholarships to tens of thousands of African students to help them study in India. India would now help set up 70 higher-education institutions in African countries in areas such as agricultural training and IT.
Writing in a special edition for the Brics summit of the magazine Russia and India, the Vice President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Georgy Petrov, pointed out that there were many Russian companies already in South Africa, in areas such as mining and hydrocarbons.
“I would say Russian business is returning to Africa, and South Africa is becoming a gateway to the African continent for Russian people,” said Petrov.
Business delegates at the summit were also optimistic about the African market.
Paritosh Gupta, chief executive of Indian infrastructure company IL&FS, said his firm had been visiting East and Southern Africa for five years now in search of rail, mine and roads projects.
“Definitely in the next five years, this will be a very happening place (Africa) and I think South Africa in a way will be a gateway to Eastern Africa,” said Gutpa.
He added that South Africa could provide a strong legal and financial support and could act as potential business partners.
“There are a lot of prospects in the development of economic relations between South Africa and Russia in many spheres,” said Andrey Makov, of the Russian machine-building company, UVZ.
Makov said he believed South Africa could play a key role in driving investment in Africa as the “locomotive” of growth.
The 5th Brics Summit will run from 26 – 27 March.
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