BRICS summit preparations underway

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pretoria - Preparations for South Africa's hosting of the 5th BRICS Summit in March next year are at an advanced stage, International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said on Tuesday.

"Our logistics team has already started with preparations at an early stage and are well advanced for hosting the summit...," Ebrahim told reporters in Pretoria.

The BRICS Inter-Ministerial Committee held its meeting this week. It is tasked with providing guidance and recommendations to Cabinet on the hosting of the summit.

South Africa was admitted to the economic bloc of emerging markets which includes Brazil, Russia, India and China in 2010. President Jacob Zuma is scheduled to host the first summit in Durban next year.

Among the key decisions expected to come out of the South Africa summit include the formation of a BRICS Development Bank. The plan is a subject of discussion among BRICS leaders who see it as a possible alternative financial institution to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

Asked if South Africa believed the idea was feasible, Ebrahim said: "A technical team has been established and hopefully when we meet in March that team will be able to tell us if it is feasible or not. We think that a bank like that will assist the group and South Africa."

The bank is part of a strategy, agreed in New Delhi last year, to look at long term investment opportunities within BRICS countries.

The aim behind the creation of a BRICS bank is to have a development-focused finance institution to support and drive commerce between the BRICS economies. -