Business leaders from the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) group of countries will converge in Johannesburg next week for the first meeting of the BRICS Business Council, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Thursday.
The meeting, taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre from 19 to 20 August, will also be attended by prominent business leaders from 19 other African countries.
According to the DTI, South African President Jacob Zuma, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and the chairmen of the BRICS member countries are expected to address the meeting.
The BRICS Business Council was established during the 2013 BRICS Summit in Durban in March, with South African businessman Patrice Motsepe named chairman of the body.
Motsepe said that next week's meeting would focus on ensuring that the council's objectives, as outlined in Durban, were fulfilled.
"The meeting will also identify specific measures and initiatives to increase trade, business, manufacturing and investment ties among the BRICS countries and between the BRICS countries and Africa," Motsepe said in the DTI statement.
"We will also propose measures to eliminate barriers or hurdles to growing trade and investment ties amongst the BRICS countries and between the BRICS countries and Africa."
Motsepe told the DTI that if African business people and entrepreneurs were to benefit fully from the various opportunities created around the BRICS and Africa, they had to exchange ideas and form partnerships and joint ventures among themselves.
At the launch of the BRICS Business Council in March, Zuma described the council as " key measure to further increase intra-BRICS trade and investment".
The BRICS countries have each nominated five business leaders to make up the council. The four South Africans who will serve on the body along with Motsepe are Business Unity SA CEO Nomaxabiso Majokweni, Zungu Investment Company executive chairman Sandile Zungu, Sekunjalo Investments CEO Iqbal Surve, and Transnet CEO Brian Molefe.