Lame duck Ramaphosa eyes opportunities at BRICS summit

PRETORIA, South Africa – The embattled South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in his weekly newsletter that he would join the leaders of China, Brazil, Russia and India at the 14th BRICS Leaders’ Summit later this week, which would be hosted virtually by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Last year, more than 17 percent of South Africa’s exports were destined for other BRICS countries, while more than 29 percent of South Africa’s total imports came from these countries.

“These countries are, therefore, significant trading partners, and the value of this trade is continuing to grow. Total South African trade with other BRICS countries reached R702 billion in 2021, up from R487 billion in 2017,” he said.

He said the BRICS Leaders’ Summit was a valuable platform for South Africa to strengthen ties with its partner countries in support of South Africa’s growth and employment creation.

“More than that, the summit is our opportunity to contribute to a better world, in which all countries have a better chance to recover from this pandemic and to flourish,” he said.

More broadly, this week’s summit aims to usher in a new era for global development that is more inclusive, sustainable and fair. Through the reform of the multilateral system, including the United Nations, and by refocusing the attention and resources of the global community on the sustainable development agenda, the BRICS group can support a sustained and equitable global recovery.

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