Durban: South African Minister of Trade and Industries Rob Davies on Wednesday said that the partnership between the BRICS nations will help in boosting the growth of trade and industrialisation in the African continent.
Davies said that the importance of BRICS when emphasised from the South African perspective, has seen a significant growth in trade and economic relations with the BRICS nation.
"Trade between South Africa and other BRICS countries has grown from 11.6 percent to 27 percent. We are currently having 31 projects by 25 companies located in BRICS countries totalling Rand 12.6 billion," Davies said.
He added that the benefits of South Africa's partnerships with the BRICS countries were poised to lead to more industrialisation and integration on the African continent.
"The African continent is recognised as the second fastest growing continent after Asia," Davies said as he highlighted the four drivers of the economic growth in African continent.
"These are the boom in mineral products in the African continent, the development of the service industries, fuelled by amongst others the embracement of ICT in Africa, the benefit of not having financial the crisis, and infrastructure development," he said.
Davies was speaking at the BRICS Business Forum that was hosted by the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Durban and attended by industrial leaders from all the BRICS nations as a peripheral event to the 5th BRICS Summit here.
Davies said African leaders were currently talking about how industrialisation would drive the next wave of African economic development.
He added that other BRICS countries have the advantage of large populations providing big domestic markets for their products.
Davies cited that the South African population is small compared to other BRICS countries, but the numbers are added up on the continent then there can be a critical mass that can support the new industrial wave in Africa.
"That is why we need achieve the African integration in order to create large trading blocs across large parts of African continent," Davies said.
The leader from the various business federations from other BRICS countries joined the Presidents of Business Unity South Africa and Black Business Council, Jabu Mabuza and Ndaba Ntsele, in expressing confidence in the organisation after the latter had earlier advising caution around discussions on free trade agreements with other BRICS members at the expense of local production.
First Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 17:58