President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to leave Harare for South Africa today to attend the BRICS Summit that started yesterday.
BRICS is a grouping of emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – and convened for its 10th Summit in Johannesburg.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, China’s President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazil President Michel Temer and host President Cyril Ramaphosa are attending the annual three-day summit, along with several African leaders invited as guests, including President Mnangagwa.
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend the event as well although his country is not a member of BRICS.
The summit is running under the theme “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
The theme seeks to strengthen the relationship between BRICS and Africa, which is why BRICS leaders will tomorrow interact with African leaders on how best they can bring about the “inclusive growth” and “shared prosperity” to the continent.
A BRICS Business Forum was held yesterday and will be followed by the BRICS leaders’ meeting and retreat today.
The BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS-Plus Initiative will be held tomorrow.
South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies said more business-to-business projects are needed to drive economic cooperation among BRICS countries.
“It is important to emphasise that we need to identify many more practical business-to-business projects for implementation as a way of driving forward our economic cooperation and intra-BRICS business cooperation. BRICS as a block is of strategic importance in the current global environment that we find ourselves in today. We have entered a period of turbulence in the global trading system,” said Dr Davies on Sunday.
The summit comes shortly after United States President, Donald Trump raised tariffs in violation of trade agreements his government has with different countries. He said he is ready to impose tariffs on all $500 billion of China imports, alleging that China’s trade surplus with the US is due to unfair currency manipulation, a charge that Beijing has rejected.
The tariff review, said Dr Davies is being done in a discriminatory fashion and is in violation of the World Trade Organisation principles.
“These actions are accompanied by growing disdain for multilateralism and global trade rules. I think at the end of the day this is all about setting a call for a rebalancing of the global trade environment to the perceived advantage of the individual country and without any sense whatsoever of being in the interest of the global economy, inclusive development or anything of that sort,” he said.
Earlier this month, China said that it would, in response to the US action, enhance its cooperation with other developing countries.
Russia’s Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin said last week that “this summit is about the context — we are at a time when the US and China announce new measures almost every week,” adding that much of the discussions with China would likely focus on what is happening with the United States.
“This is a trade war, so leaders’ discussions are particularly important in coordinating our positions,” he said.
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