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South Africa business leaders endorse BRICS multilateralism
August 1, 2018, 10:40 am

With BRICS espousing multilateralism, a number of African and Asian leaders were invited to Johannesburg [PPIO]

South Africa’s business community said yesterday that it strongly supported BRICS commitment to endorse multilateralism while standing against protectionist trade policies that hurt global growth.

During a meeting of industry leaders and government officials in Johannesburg, CEOs and senior business pundits stressed that emerging economies should reject unilateralist initiatives and work instead toward an inclusive agenda that promotes free trade.

“We do not support policies which are inward looking. Protectionism is selfish. We support open market. We want Africa to trade with itself and the world to allow the economies to grow,” said Pan African Chamber of Commerce marketing and communications Director Kudzai Muchechetere on the weekend.

In the Johannesburg Declaration which signaled the end of the 10th BRICS Summit and was signed by Brazilian President Michel Temer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the leaders argued that the multilateral trading system was “facing unprecedented challenges”.

“We call on all WTO members to abide by WTO rules and honour their commitments in the multilateral trading system,” the Johannesburg Declaration stated.

During the summit, the BRICS Business Forum focused on the economic prowess of the African continent with a particular focus on advanced manufacturing, energy, technology, rail, aviation, information and communication technology, financial services and beneficiation (agro-processing and mining), as well as to enhance the flow of foreign direct investments from the BRICS bloc into the continent.

In a bid to highlight Africa and emerging markets’ growing global impact, a number of African leaders – and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – were invited to the 10th Summit in Johannesburg last week.

Opening up Africa is a key to expanded multilateralism and healthy global trade.

South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) President Zeph Ndlovu said that open markets by all for all ensure strong global economic growth. He said that recent trade policies from the US were counterproductive and ultimately self-defeating.

He called on the international community to work together to resolve trade issues.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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