by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) member states are fostering cooperation on socio-political and economic issues through the ninth BRICS Parliamentary Forum.
South Africa is hosting the inter-parliamentary event until Friday, east of Johannesburg.
About 250 parliamentary delegates from member states are in attendance at the forum held under the theme, “Harnessing Multilateralism and Parliamentary Diplomacy to Deepen BRICS and Africa Partnership for Accelerated Implementation of the Africa Free-Trade Agreement.”
The agreement is identified by its acronym, AfCFTA.
Addressing delegates, host Deputy President, Paul Mashatile, welcomed that All 54 countries have signed the agreement.
“We are well on our way to creating the world’s largest single-free trade area, with 1,3 billion people and a gross domestic product of (US)$3,4 trillion,” he said.
Mashatile said the implementation of AfCFTA will improve intra-African trade, the continent’s share and participation in global trade, stimulate and improve the economy as well as contribute to lifting millions of people out of poverty.
He believes this is an opportunity to strengthen the BRICS-Africa partnership and promote a rules-based approach towards a just global order.
“As a continent (Africa), we look forward to engaging with our BRICS partners to realise the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area and thus create a win-win solution for all.”
South Africa assumed the BRICS Chairmanship this year, based on the governance principle of chairmanship rotation.
– CAJ News