BRICS leaders meet ahead of G20 summit

Friday, July 7, 2017

Pretoria - On the eve of the 12th edition of the G20 summit, leaders of the world’s most developing nations BRICS - met on the sidelines for bilateral talks.

President Jacob Zuma, who landed in Hamburg, Germany on Thursday, represented South Africa in the grouping which consists of member countries Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Speaking at the BRICS leaders meeting on Friday, President Zuma said although the global economy is expected to register modest but positive growth in 2017- the high degree of political and policy uncertainty create greater risk.

The President said we continue to witness manifestations of traditional and new challenges, indicative of the ever-widening disparities among the haves and have-nots.

“We gather at global platforms, as today, to deal with critical issues such as migration, unequal access to technology, receding trends with respect to globalization, protectionism and global security. We must therefore continue working towards inclusive growth whilst supporting free trade in a manner that is beneficial to all.”

South Africa is one of the 19-member countries of the Group of 20 (which includes the European Union [EU] as the 20th member) who have been meeting regularly since 1999 to discuss global economic policy coordination.

The summit, which is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, will be held under the theme ‘Shaping an Interconnected World’ with the sub-themes of ‘Building Resilience’, ‘Improving Sustainability’ and ‘Assuming Responsibility’.

President Zuma enclosed the theme of the G20 to ensure “Inclusive Growth” designed to benefit all sectors of society.

As the Co-Chair of the G20 Development Working Group, President Zuma said South Africa will continue to highlight the concept of inclusivity, notably as it impacts on Africa and the developing world, so that it permeates throughout G20 initiatives.

This as South Africa’s primary aim in the G20 is to provide strategic foresight in establishing an economic and international policy platform that will drive and negotiate the best possible outcomes for South Africa, Africa and the developing world.

“Consistent with the spirit of inclusivity, any partnership with Africa must benefit the whole Continent and encompass a holistic approach. Programmes such as the G20 Africa Partnership, including the Compact with Africa (CwA), should follow a consultative process aligned with the AU’s Agenda 2063, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development and various other flagship AU programs.”

The President went on to note what he called the “good progress” made in the intra- Brics collaboration over the past decade.

“Given the current difficult and challenging global environment we need to do more to strengthen and deepen our partnership for the mutual benefit of all our peoples,” the President added. -

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