Brics trade ministers to bolster business ties

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pretoria - Trade ministers at the Brics Economic and Trade Ministers' meeting have agreed to expand business links between the four countries.

"Ministers agreed to further strengthen cooperation by expanding mutual trade and investment, while committing to oppose trade protectionism in all its forms," the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa ministers said in a joint press release on Wednesday.

"To achieve this goal, ministers also agreed to establish a contact group entrusted with the task of proposing an institutional framework and concrete measures to expand economic cooperation among BRICS and with other developing countries within a South-South perspective," said the ministers.

President Jacob Zuma and a ministerial delegation, including Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, arrived in Sanya Hainan Island in China on Wednesday. 

South Africa is participating in the Brics Leaders Summit for the first time as a member of the bloc, which Zuma has described as a historic moment for the country.

At the meeting, the ministers exchanged their views on the state of the world economy and the role played by Brics. They agreed that as the world economy continued a momentum of recovery since the 2008 financial meltdown, the foundation was still far from solid and stable.

The ministers concurred that their respective countries should continue contributing to global economic growth.

"While the economic performances of Brics [members] are prominent, they are still confronted with domestic economic challenges as a result of the global financial crisis and subsequent policies in advanced economies. 

"Ministers called upon all the countries of the world to continue to strengthen the coordination on macroeconomic policies, so as to secure world economic recovery and achieve a strong, sustainable and balanced growth," said the ministers.

They also reiterated their support to Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation in 2011, saying this will improve the representativeness of the trade body. - BuaNews