Our mission for South Africa, and Brics economies, is clear
South African Brics Business Council chairperson Dr Survé’s welcoming remarks at the plenary session of the Brics Business Council today:
GOOD morning, chairpersons and members of the Brics Business Council.
Thank you to our hosts for the invitation to this beautiful city to deliberate and further build on our work as the Brics Business Council.
It gives me and my colleagues great pleasure to represent South Africa at this important meeting.
The work of the Business Council cannot be overstated. It is a shared vision for economic and social growth that has brought us to Shanghai.
The world is slowly steadying itself after economic slowdowns and crashes, and while economies slowly tick up, it gives us time to embrace our own destinies, to reroute our plans if necessary and to further build on our common ground.
The rest of the world is watching us with increased interest; there is an excitement in the air, an expectation that something big is about to happen.
And I am sure that something big is about to happen, but if the world is expecting only one big economic picture, a plan, an announcement of a massive investment, they may find themselves on the wrong side of the ethos of Brics.
Our plans are multifaceted; we have big plans and smaller plans, which can directly affect our people.
Our mission is clear, to grow our economies – with progressive development and increasing co-operation between our countries, that will lead to peaceful coexistence in all our countries.
Each of our countries have emerging markets, and we face similar economic challenges, including lifting people from low into middle incomes and to address the challenges of unemployment, especially of young people.
Youth unemployment is a global issue, but more importantly, African young people make up the vast majority of people living in Africa. They need opportunities and jobs to meet their most basic aspirations.
In this way we can ensure that South Africa is able to benefit through its participation in Brics.
There are 1.2 billion people in Africa and we have much to learn from the economic and social development milestones in the Brics countries, especially our hosts, China.
Our hosts addressed unemployment and low income over the past three decades. As China has done, Russia, Brazil and India continue to do in their economies.
We can also benefit from economic opportunities from Brics countries and for Africa to benefit and to share global prosperity.
Africa is a frontier economy, and as a frontier economy, we come together to Brics with our own competencies to provide opportunities for each other, for our people to continue to positively contribute to the global agenda of economic growth, inclusion, job creation, youth and women upliftment, the green economy, public financing and for using hi-tech investments for the greater good – for the progression of humanity.
Brics, from a business perspective, is an important part of the solution for at least 40 percent of the world to be able to progress.
It can benefit the local economy and growth.
As South Africans and Brics Business Council members in Africa, we can say: Africa is ready to take its place in the global business community, not as a recipient, but as an equal partner to business and enterprise ventures, which will result in mutual benefits for Africa and globally.
Africa’s time has come. Sekunjalo, Africa’s time is now.
It is time for Africa to be a partner of choice for economic growth and prosperity in Brics.
The Bund Bull in Shanghai, China. Dr Iqbal Survé believes South Africa can also benefit from economic opportunities that being a member of the Brics alliance will bring.