South Africa’s participation in BRICS provides tangible economic benefits such as increased trade and investment opportunities as well as political benefits, such as increasing our voice in the international sphere. We have seen BRICS evolve to become a globally influential intergovernmental forum that increasingly exerts its influence in the multilateral context through its agenda setting and rule formulating posture.
From the onset when we joined and attended the 3rd BRICS Summit in Sanya, Hainan, in 2011, South Africa immediately placed support for the African agenda on the agenda of BRICS, which resulted in the Sanya Declaration expressing its support for Africa’s industrialisation and for programmes of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
The key achievements of BRICS that reflect the main benefits for South Africa include the first BRICS financial institutions that were created in 2014, namely: the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA). These institutions are intended not only to complement the existing architecture, but also to additionally leverage the resources of the Global South to directly address the needs (and shortcomings in the existing architecture) of the Global South through mobilising its significant resource base (BRICS foreign reserves are estimated around US$4 trillion). The NDB could assist BRICS and other developing countries by investing in crucial sectors of their economies, such as infrastructure and sustainable development projects. The CRA provides an additional safety net which addresses balance of payment issues and currency fluctuations, and is also a first port of call during troubled times. This initiative also serves to promote the use of our own currencies in exchange.
南非从金砖国家领导人峰会中主要收获包括：2014年创建金砖国家金融机构，即金砖国家新开发银行（NDB）和金砖国家应急储备安排（CRA）。这些机构不仅是对现有的金融架构的补充，还能通过重要资源储备的流动（金砖国家的外汇储备约4兆美元），利用发展中国家的资源储备，直接满足发展中国家的需求。金砖国家新开发银行通过投资于其经济的关键性产业，能够帮助金砖国家和其他发展中国家进行发展，如基础设施和可持续发展项目。金砖国家应急储备安排则提供为解决支付问题和货币波动的平衡提供额外的安全网络，也是经济危机时解决问题的首选。这一倡议也有助于促进我们本国货币兑换。 Thus, BRICS has a pivotal role to play in carving out a new path to reinvigorate global economic growth by, inter alia: ·putting in place measures to make global economic and financial governance more efficient;
·tackle the challenge of climate change;
·foster the promotion of robust international trade and investment; and
·promote inclusive and interconnected development.
The strength of BRICS is a direct result of the excellent bilateral relationship that exists among the respective constituent members and as such I wish to speak briefly about South Africa’s relations with China. South Africa and China enjoy a dynamic relationship which continues to deepen and mature as a result of common interests on numerous levels, both domestically and internationally. The BRICS forum is illustrative of the ever-increasing importance and potential of these synergies. Our relations are at the level of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP), with the bilateral relationship being among the most vibrant and significant for South Africa. The CSP, signed in 2010, prioritises enhancing frequent high level political exchanges and advancing trade and investment. To this end, bilateral mechanism such as the Bi-National Commission (BNC), Joint Working Group (JWG) and Strategic Dialogue have been established to facilitate and enhance political interests and economic objectives.
South Africa is working closely with China towards the realisation of South Africa’s industrialisation plan as well as encouraging China to increase her investments into the country.China has made a commitment to encourage its enterprises to increase investment in South Africa’s manufacturing industry and promote the creation of value-adding activities in close proximity to the source of raw materials.China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) Initiative has further created opportunities for South Africa. We view the OBOR Initiative as an opportunity for South African companies and their Chinese counterparts to forge partnerships on infrastructure projects related to the OBOR, which will assist us to achieve our regional integration objectives.
South Africa looks forward to a successful BRICS Summit at Xiamen on 4 to 5 September 2017!