Our mis­sion for South Africa, and Brics economies, is clear

Cape Times - - BUSINESSREPORT - Dr Iqbal Survé

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.

Thank you.


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.

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