Gaborone — There is scope to expand the value of trade and investment between BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) countries and to address the trade imbalance between member states, Russian ambassador to Botswana, Mr Victor Sibilev has said.
Speaking at the members reception held at the Russian ambassador's residence recently, Mr Sibilev said the association had achieved results and spoke in favour of strict compliance to the norms of international law.
He pointed out that the group accounted for almost a third of the global GDP at purchasing power parity, adding that last year BRICS even outperformed G7 by 12 per cent.
The ambassador said BRICS was becoming a magnet for many emerging economies, including Africa and that the outreach format gave partners the opportunity to build a fairer world together. Mr Sibilev revealed that at the just ended summit of the member states, leaders discussed issues of mutual concern aimed at achieving economic growth, development and prosperity as well as peace and security which brought them together in the past ten years.
He opined that the business council promoted economic growth, especially through intra-trade and was able to identify nodes of economic growth within the partnership. He said Russia would chair BRICS in 2020 and would certainly pay attention to expanding foreign policy coordination and also planned to suggest updating the strategy for 2015 BRICS partnership in trade and investment for the next five year period.
Other representatives concurred that the meeting served as a platform to forge closer ties between member states here in Botswana.
They said BRICS countries should stand firm against protectionism and uphold the WTO-centred multilateral trading system and increase the voice and influence of emerging markets and developing countries on the international stage.
The ambassadors of the five countries stated that the benefits arising from the BRICS membership were evident across all partner countries with South Africa playing host to Brazilian bus manufacturers, Russian train manufacturers, Indian automotive companies and Chinese machinery producers.
They said the benefits were attributed to the BRICS strategy for economic partnership and the work of BRICS business council.
According to Mr Sibilev the intention is to build a more inclusive partnership between the leaders of BRICS countries and the elected leaders of African institutions.
Source : BOPA