New Development Bank must be about ordinary people

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says the BRICS Development Bank should aim to empower the ordinary people in developing economies.

The Minister said this when she delivered closing remarks at the BRICS Sherpas and Sous-Ssherpas meeting at the Taj Hotel in Cape Town on Tuesday.

“The bank has to practically reach out to the developmental issues. The New Development Bank…must be about the development of our people,” she said.

The Sherpas and Sous-Serpas is the first official meeting on the BRICS calendar with South Africa as the Chair of the five-nation bloc.

The meeting is aimed at providing a platform for representatives from member countries to discuss the working arrangements for BRICS in 2018.

South Africa, as the host country for the BRICS 2018 Summit, is making use of the opportunity to present its priorities as Chair to the other members of the group.

On Tuesday, the Minister suggested a number of “take home” points for the meeting to consider. This included peace and security, food security and ushering in the fourth industrial revolution and ensuring that ordinary people are given an opportunity to prosper.

Addressing the closing of the meeting, the Minister said a lot of progress has been made since South Africa joined the BRIC member countries seven years ago.

This, the Minister said, included the launch of the Africa Regional Centre of the New Development Bank (NDB) in South Africa. The formation of the development bank has strengthened its cooperative mechanism for institutional development, most notably witnessed in the creation of the New Development Bank and the recently launched Africa Regional Centre in Johannesburg. In 2015, total intra-BRICS trade amounted to R3.06 trillion.

South Africa’s exports to BRICS countries marginally increased from R123 billion in 2011 to R138.2 billion in 2016, while in the same period, imports from BRICS countries also increased from R115 billion to R230 billion. Total Intra-BRICS FDI was R554 trillion at the end of February 2016. –

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