by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – TOTAL South African trade with other BRICS countries has increased by more than 30 percent to R702 billion (US$43,7 billion) over the past five years.
This is up from R487 billion in 2017, as revealed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his weekly letter on Monday.
BRICS is acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which are the five major emerging economies.
It was formed in 2006.
Later this week, Ramaphosa will join fellow leaders at the 14th BRICS Leaders’ Summit, which will be hosted virtually by Chinese President, Xi Jinping.
Ramaphosa said the value of South Africa’s membership of BRICS had grown substantially since it joined this group 12 years ago.
“As we work to rebuild our country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is much to be gained from our participation in BRICS and the relationships we have established with other member countries,” said Ramaphosa.
Last year, over 17 percent of South Africa’s exports were destined for other BRICS countries, while over 29 percent of its total imports came from these countries.
Ramaphosa said at a time when the country was focused on improving the capacity and competitiveness of the economy, these trade linkages will prove vital to the growth of local industry.
One area with great potential is tourism, which has been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourists from other BRICS countries accounted for 65 percent of all arrivals in South Africa in 2018.
These markets will be expected to make an important contribution to the recovery of this sector.
– CAJ News