South Africa: SA Business Leaders Call for Brics Nations to Boost Trade With Rest of Africa

Members of BRICS — mainly China and Russia — have come under fire for only engaging with African countries when providing them with aid and extracting from their economies without sustainably building them.

Business leaders Patrice Motsepe (founder and chair of JSE-listed African Rainbow) and Stavros Nicolaou (an executive at Aspen Pharmacare) have called on the BRICS countries to boost their trading activity with each other and African countries.

They believe that the formation of BRICS has benefitted all its member countries, especially South Africa.

The BRICS economies accounted for about 21.3% of South Africa’s total trade with the world in 2022, of which China accounted for 67.6%, India 26.5%, Brazil 4.2% and Russia 1.7%, according to data from the Industrial Development Corporation. South Africa’s overall trade with its BRICS partners increased by an average of 10% from 2017 to 2021.

While Motsepe and Nicolaou believe these trade numbers are good, there is room to grow them to include the rest of Africa, they argued during panel discussions at the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 22 August. There was a broader call for the BRICS member countries, in their policies of trade, to engage with other African countries to explore trading opportunities.

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Leaders of the BRICS countries — South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, China’s President Xi Jinping, Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir…

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