Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 30.2018
2018.07.23 — 2018.07.29
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
Full text of President Xi's speech at plenary session of BRICS Johannesburg Summit (Полный текст выступления Президента Си на пленарном заседании саммита БРИКС в Йоханнесбурге) / China, July, 2018
Keywords: Xi_Jinping, summit, speech

JOHANNESBURG - President Xi Jinping delivered on Thursday a speech titled "Turn Our Vision into a Reality" at the Plenary Session of the BRICS Johannesburg Summit.

The following is the full text of the speech:

Turn Our Vision into a Reality

Remarks by H.E. Xi Jinping

President of the People's Republic of China

At the Plenary Session of the BRICS Johannesburg Summit

Johannesburg, 26 July 2018

Your Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa,

Your Excellency President Michel Temer,

Your Excellency President Vladimir Putin,

Your Excellency Prime Minister Narendra Modi,

Let me begin by thanking President Ramaphosa and the South African government for their warm hospitality and thoughtful arrangements. The BRICS Summit is convened in Africa again after a lapse of five years. This is an occasion to celebrate.

The theme of this summit - "BRICS in Africa: Collaborating for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution" - is most fitting under the current circumstances. The previous three industrial revolutions were all characterized by transformative advancement in science and technology: the rise of mechanization in the 18th century, the harnessing of electricity in the 19th century, and the advent of the Information Age in the 20th century. Such breakthroughs have greatly unleashed social productivity and significantly improved people's living standards, thus profoundly reshaping the course of human history.

Today, we are experiencing another revolution in science, technology and industry, which is greater in scope and depth. Breakthroughs are being made in quick succession in frontier technologies like big data and artificial intelligence. New technologies, business models and industries are emerging one after another. Countries around the world have found their interests and future tied together like never before.

That said, we have yet to sustain global growth with new driving forces and to address the North-South imbalance and other deep-seated structural problems. What's more, constant flare-ups of geopolitical conflicts and the escalation of protectionism and unilateralism are directly affecting the external development environment of emerging markets and developing countries.

History keeps surging forward independent of people's wish. We the BRICS countries must therefore have a keen grasp of the trend of our times, deepen our strategic partnership, and consolidate our cooperation framework underpinned by economic, political and security cooperation and people-to-people exchanges. This way, we will be able to turn our vision of a second "Golden Decade" into a reality, and together build a community with a shared future for mankind.

President Xi Jinping delivers a speech titled "Turn Our Vision into a Reality" at the Plenary Session of the 10th BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 26, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua] First, we must unlock the enormous potential of our economic cooperation. Closer economic cooperation for shared prosperity is the original purpose and priority of BRICS cooperation. It is also in the economic field that we enjoy the most promising, diverse and fruitful cooperation. We need to step up trade, investment, economic, financial, and connectivity cooperation to make this pie still bigger. At the same time, we must work together at the United Nations, the Group of 20, and the World Trade Organization to safeguard the rule-based multilateral trading regime, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and reject protectionism outright.

It is important that we continue to pursue innovation-driven development and build a Partnership on New Industrial Revolution to strengthen coordination on macroeconomic policies, find more complementarities in our development strategies, and reinforce each other's efforts in renewing economic driving forces and upgrading economic structure. In this context, China will host ten human resources development programs during which experts of our five countries will be invited to draw up a blueprint for our cooperation in the new industrial revolution. By so doing, we hope to enhance the competitiveness of not only BRICS countries but also other emerging markets and developing countries.

Second, we must safeguard global peace and security. Political and security cooperation is an important component of BRICS strategic partnership. We should stay committed to multilateralism and to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. We should call on all parties to abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations and to settle disputes through dialogue and differences through consultation. By fully leveraging the role of BRICS meetings of foreign ministers, national security advisers and permanent representatives to the United Nations, we can make our voice heard, put forth our solutions, and jointly work for a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, equality, justice and win-win cooperation.

Third, we must expand people-to-people exchanges. We the BRICS countries boast great civilizations. When it comes to cultural and people-to-people exchanges, there is a lot we can do together. As a matter of fact, such exchanges have notably gained momentum over the last year or two. We should aim at greater people-to-people connectivity and more popular support for BRICS cooperation through extensive exchanges in cultural, educational, health, sports, tourism and other areas. China would therefore like to suggest joint touring exhibitions by the BRICS alliances of museums, art museums, national galleries, and libraries and closer cooperation in the cultural, creative and tourism industries and at the sub-national level. This way, we can spread the BRICS story far and wide to further enhance the mutual understanding and traditional friendship among our people.

Fourth, we must build a network of closer partnerships. Since the inception of the BRICS mechanism, openness and inclusiveness have remained our abiding commitment. The "BRICS Plus" approach we adopted at the Xiamen Summit is designed to strengthen the unity and coordination among BRICS members for greater cohesion and, at the same time, to keep broadening the BRICS "circle of friends" in a joint pursuit of shared development and prosperity for all emerging markets and developing countries. We may explore "BRICS Plus" cooperation within the United Nations, the G20, and other frameworks to advance the common interests and boost the development space for emerging markets and developing countries, thus contributing more to world peace and development through broader partnerships.


The future of BRICS is in the hands of our people. Let us work together with the rest of the international community for an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.

Thank you.

List of MoUs signed between India and South Africa during 10th BRICS Summit (Список меморандумов, подписанных между Индией и Южной Африкой в ходе 10-го саммита БРИКС) / India, July, 2018
Keywords: summit, concluded_agreements

  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, India and the Agricultural Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa on Cooperation in Agricultural Research and Education.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of India regarding the Setting up of the "Gandhi Mandela Centre of Specialisation for Artisan Skills" in South Africa.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between Indian Space Research Organisation and the South African National Space Agency on Cooperation in the Exploration and uses of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes.
Russia boosts military-technical cooperation with southern African countries (Россия наращивает военно-техническое сотрудничество с южноафриканскими странами) / Russia, July, 2018
Keywords: concluded_agreements, summit, national_security

MOSCOW, July 27. /TASS/. The Russian government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Southern African Development Community (SADC), according to a statement posted on the website of Russia's Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation on Friday.

The memorandum was signed at the tenth BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit in Johannesburg.

"On the sidelines of the forum [the BRICS summit], a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the government of the Russian Federation and the Southern African Development Community in the field of military and technical cooperation," the statement says.

Director of Russia's Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugayev noted that the signing of the Memorandum "creates the basis for developing multilateral interaction in the military and technical sphere between the Russian Federation and African countries."

The implementation of joint projects will help maintain stability and security on the African continent, he added.

The SADC is a major and one of the most influential sub-regional associations in Africa comprising 16 countries. Many SADC states operate Russian (Soviet-made) military hardware.

The tenth BRICS summit runs in Johannesburg, South Africa, on July 25-27. The summit participants are discussing the issues of strengthening multilateral relations and the organization's role in ensuring peace and security.
10th BRICS Summit, a festival of bilaterals (10-й саммит БРИКС, фестиваль двусторонних отношений) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: summit, cyril_ramaphosa, quotation
South Africa

The 10th BRICS summit, which concluded on Friday in Johannesburg was a festival of bilaterals, said President Cyril Ramaphosa.

"The BRICS is a gathering of countries and when we include the non- members through the BRICS Outreach session and the BRICS Plus- it is like a festival of bilaterals where many participants were able to hold bilaterals which enhanced the discussions," President Ramaphosa told the media at the conclusion of the summit.

A total of 21 heads of states mainly from Africa attended the BRICS Outreach Dialogue and the BRICS Plus sessions at the invitation of BRICS leaders.

Regions and organisations invited to the sessions included the African Union, East African Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); the Southern African Development Community (SADC); Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR ), South Africa and influential Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) , the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), as well as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) who interacted with the five BRIC leaders.

The bilaterals, President Ramaphosa noted, opened the path for increased engagement, cooperation and allowed for greater interaction notably for the development and economic growth through trade and investment integration, and cooperation in global governance financial, economic and political institutions for the different regions which were represented.

This was particularly important for the African continent as Pretoria was using the BRICS union to leverage for the collective development of the continent.

President Ramaphosa said all countries and regions which were invited felt welcomed as they were able to network with various BRICS countries for the benefit of their national and regional agendas.

"For example, we had a retreat where we were able to have a heart to heart discussions of a number of issues. Such interactions enhance personal relationships among us as leaders and also help form good and strong foundation for countries to continue cooperating at many levels.

"This then becomes a firm foundation that enables us to cooperate better at a cultural level, people to people level, at a political and diplomatic level as well as the economic and trading levels. We could not ask for a better association than this BRICS summit," the president said.

South Africa held bilateral meetings with all BRICS member states as well as with other invited countries such as Turkey, Togo and Zimbabwe, among others.

In his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Ramaphosa said the two leaders took stock of the progress of their cooperation.

Trade between South Africa and Russia increased significantly from R5 billion in 2012 to almost R8 billion in 2016 with major South African exports including fruits and nuts, manganese ores, beverages, spirits and vinegar, wine, electrical machinery and equipment

"We found that level and the number of areas in which we collaborate on which Russia is quite extensive and it concludes investments in mining, equipment making and there is a desire to take it further and collaborate in the truck manufacturing sector."

But it was the issue of the nuclear deal that also topped their discussions as the Russians wanted to know where the country was in terms of the nuclear programme.

President Ramaphosa indicated that he gave President Putin a clear and straightforward answer which reiterated government's position that South Africa has an energy mix for the country's resource plan.

South Africa's approved Integrated Resource Plan of 2010-30 provides for coal, gas, renewables and 9600 megawatts nuclear as part of the energy landscape by 2030.

Currently, nuclear constitutes about 6% of the South African energy mix with 1 800 megawatts of electricity supplied to the national grid by the Koeberg nuclear plant.

Meanwhile, the summit saw the adoption of the Johannesburg Declaration, which among others, supported an open and inclusive multilateral trading system.

The leaders also found common ground in championing global trade, condemning protectionist measures, the fight again terrorism, intra BRICS trade and fighting climate

BRICS called to deepen relations in the face of turbulence (БРИКС призвал углублять отношения перед лицом турбулентности) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: summit, expert_opinion
South Africa

South Africa's Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has urged fellow BRICS countries to strengthen and deepen their relations in a time when the world's trading systems are in turbulence.

"It is no secret. We living in a time of enormous turbulence and crisis for the global multilateral system. We need to strengthen and deepen our relations," said Davies on Wednesday.

Speaking at the BRICS ([Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Business Forum opening session at the Sandton Convention Centre, Minister Davies said the current environment poses an enormous challenge.

"What we've seen is a number of stronger economies, particularly one showing great scepticism to multilateral trading system which is not good to any of us. We are in the midst of trade wars - South Africa is not a major protagonist [but is hit by] collateral damage," said Davies.

The Minister was referring to the United States decision to impose Section 232 steel and aluminium tariff duties. US President Donald Trump signed proclamations granting permanent country exemptions to a select number of countries and extended by one month the Section 232 steel and aluminium tariff duty exemptions for some.

The proclamation followed the 8 March proclamation signed by President Trump to impose a 10% ad valorem tariff on imports of aluminium articles and a 25% ad valorem tariff on imports of steel articles. This excluded select countries namely Canada, Mexico, the European Union, South Korea, Australia, Argentina and Brazil.

At Wednesday's session that brought together captains of industry and government officials, among others, Davies said South Africa was not given exemption from the tariffs, adding that the US decision was affecting the country.

"Institutions like BRICS become very important to promote investment led trade," he said, adding that the bloc should work on identifying complementarities with one another.

He said that last month's trade ministers meeting identified complementary trade as a future mechanism among the BRICS countries.

Davies said it was important for South Africa to move from exporting primary products as the technology revolution unfolds.

He said BRICS countries which account for more than a third of the world's population should invest more in each other.

"In the recent past, BRICS countries have been a disproportional source of global economic growth," he said.

South Africa as the only African member of the bloc is also keen on helping to bring about development on the continent.

Integrating the African continent

"As South Africa we have taken important steps forward to promote integration, beyond regional economies and move towards integrating the continent as a whole," he told those gathered at the session.

Davies said South Africa like other countries are in the process of preparing to ratify the recently signed African Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

South Africa, he said, is not only seeking to increase trade with the continent -- which is paltry -- but that it wants regional value chains to industrialise the continent.

Trade facilitation

"We need to support investment in other countries," he said, adding that South Arica believes in the path of investment and trade.

As a form of facilitating investment, South Africa has set up Invest SA One Stop Shops to assist investors.

"Our approach has been that we will offer investment basic guarantees through the One Stop Shop," he said.

Progress made by Business Council

Meanwhile, South Africa is pleased with progress made by the BRICS Business Council, which will present its annual report to Heads of State on Thursday.

Chair of the Business Council, Dr Iqbal Surve, said the trade barriers has led to much anxiety but that since the inception in 2013, the council has made several achievements. These include the Memorandum of Understanding with the Development Bank on closer cooperation that was signed in 2017 as well as the e-commerce platform to service BRICS countries.

The recent 6th meeting, which was held in Durban, was attended by over 400 delegates from all BRICS countries

This, said Surve, is the largest gathering in the history of the bloc, adding that trade barriers not only kill business but are harmful to people.

The long term key recommendations made by the council include making provisions for long term visas and harmonising the recognition of qualification among BRICS countries.

He urged BRICS countries to roll back red tape and roll out the red carpet for business.

BRICS cooperation

Russian Minister of Economic Development, Maxim Oreshkin, said his country is open for business, adding that the recently conclude FIFA World Cup that was held in his country was well supported by tourists.

He said work being done by his government with fellow BRICS countries included work with China on aviation, while there was cooperation with India on port facilities.

Meanwhile, Davies welcomed the investment announcement made by China on Tuesday. This as the South African government has signed several agreements with China, including an investment commitment from China to the tune of $14.7 billion.

Some of the agreements signed are in trade and industry, agriculture and science and technology, including a visa agreement.

The business forum, which forms part of the 10th BRICS Summit, seeks to reflect on economic progress made, and on driving trade among the BRICS countries, among others.

The Summit will conclude on Friday. -

Non-BRICS countries commit to strengthen relations with bloc (Страны, не входящие в состав БРИКС, обязуются укреплять отношения с блоком) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: summit, political_issues
South Africa

Non-BRICS countries have expressed their commitment to strengthening relations with the bloc in the interest of mutual benefit for developing countries.

Speaking during the BRICS Africa Outreach Dialogue session and the BRICS Plus session at the 10th BRICS Summit currently underway at the Sandton Convention Centre, African Union (AU) Chairperson Paul Kigame said the AU has common interests with the BRICS bloc.

Kigame was among the ray of African leaders invited to the session, speaking on the last day of the three-day Summit. Friday's dialogue session saw non-BRICS countries engaging with the five BRICS leaders which make up the bloc.

Kigame, who is also President of Rwanda, said the AU has a common interest with BRICS in an open and fair international system.

Kigame was among the 27 Presidents invited to make their inputs at the Summit.

"Strengthening cooperation with BRICS contributes to medium and long term human security and wider benefits in especially employment for Africa's youth," said President Kigame in his remarks at the dialogue.

Kigame's comments come at a time when the African continent is known to have the youngest population in the world.

According to the African Economic Outlook report prepared by experts from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) about 200 million people are aged between 15 and 24 in Africa.

The current trend indicates that this figure will double by 2045.

At Friday's session, the AU said, it wants to collaborate with BRICS -- which brings together the five major emerging economies namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- on key sectors including industrialisation, infrastructure and peace and security.

These areas, said Kigame, are at the heart of the African Union Agenda 2063, adding that this is important in realising the continent's common aspirations especially related to new technologies.

African Free Trade Area

Speaking on the African Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which South Africa signed earlier this month, Kigame said the new free trade area is set to change in a positive and far reaching ways how Africa does business with itself and the world.

"We are working towards a more unified and effective African Union that would enhance our continents governance and operations with partners around the world."

The AfCFTA is the culmination of a vision set forth nearly 40 years ago in the Lagos Plan of Action, adopted by African Heads of State and government in 1980.

The AfCFTA is aimed at creating a single continental market for goods and services with free movement of businesses and investments. This will progressively eliminate tariffs on intra-African trade, making it easier for African businesses to trade within the continent and cater to and benefit from the growing African market.

Kigame said there is a "clear interest in Africa and BRICS members".

He however stressed that what is most needed is a mechanism for effective delivery of agreed areas.

"Working together we will continue to a principal source of economic dynamism in the years to come. I wish to assure you of Africa's commitment to increased dialogue and active engagement," he said.

Climate change

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who spoke on behalf of the Caribbean, said the area struggled with low levels of economic growth and also battled with climate change issues.

Holness said the Caribbean was vulnerable to severe weather events, adding that it is important to protect the Caribbean islands economies from these.

His comments come as the Johannesburg Declaration signed by the leaders on Thursday made reference of the importance of research and to enhance the resilience of the collective agricultural and food systems in the face of the changing climate.

Meanwhile, the East African Community (EAC)'s chair as well as Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said the regional intergovernmental organisation of six partner states which includes Uganda, Burundi and South Sudan no longer want to export raw materials.

Meanwhile, incoming chair of SADC and President of Namibia, Hage Geingob, said the session to include non-BRICS countries is a noble gesture, saying the Summit is a timely and relevant one.

He stressed that the 4th Industrial Revolution will change the working world.

"Labour as we know it will not be the same," he said.

Providing aid

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said while the world is going through a difficult time with natural disasters and financial crises, his country has continued to provide humanitarian aid to the world.

Last year $8.4 billion in aid was disbursed.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the dialogue is a good opportunity for BRICS and other emerging communities to exchange ideas on important issues of development.

India's relations with Africa has been historically deep. India has given the highest priority to expanding these historic relations for the development and peace in the continent.

"For the last four years we have had more than 100 visits and engagement at the level of the Heads of State and these have taken our economic relations to new heights," said Modi.

India has designated a line of credits worth $11 billion to more than 40 countries. Further, the Indian private sector has invested $54 billion in the African countries.

In his opening remarks earlier in the session, South Africa's President and Chair of BRICS Cyril Ramaphosa said it is important to work together to address common concerns.

He said the meeting comes at a time when the world is facing strong headwinds with a rise in protectionalism and a shift towards unilateral action.

President Ramaphosa is due to address a media briefing at 3pm as the Summit which got underway on Wednesday and wraps up today. -
BRICS countries sign environmental agreement (Страны БРИКС подписали экологическое соглашение) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: concluded_agreements, ecology, sustainable_development, summit
South Africa

The Ministers of Environmental Affairs for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Environmental Cooperation at the 10th BRICS Summit.

"The MOU strengthens cooperation between the BRICS countries and promotes continued closer collaboration in the promotion of matters related to air quality, water, biodiversity, climate change, waste management and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals," the Department of Environmental Affairs said in a statement.

The implementation of the MoU will be coordinated through regular meetings by the BRICS states and the BRICS Joint Working Group on Environment.

"This incorporates the exchange of experience and information in the main areas of cooperation, including the development of regulatory and methodological documents.

"The states will also collaborate in conducting joint research, capacity building and training, the organising of symposia, conferences and workshops, as well as the development of joint programs and projects to demonstrate best achievements, practices and technologies in areas of environmental cooperation and of joint interest," the department said.

In terms of the MoU, the participants will conclude additional agreements or arrangements to ensure effective implementation of environmental cooperation.

The MoU was signed on Thursday at the BRICS summit which is being hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Johannesburg.

The Summit is taking place under the theme BRICS in Africa: "Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution'.

It is being attended by the Heads of State and Government from Brazil, Russia, India and China, as well as a host of other countries.

The Summit is focused on the need to strengthen the relationship between BRICS and Africa. In this regard BRICS leaders will also interact with African leaders on how best to bring about inclusive growth and shared prosperity through heightened collaboration. –
Erdoğan suggests adding 'T' to BRICS (Эрдоган предлагает добавить "Т" в БРИКС) / Turkey, July, 2018
Keywords: brics+, summit
Author: Vahap Munyar

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on the leaders of the five-country block BRICS to let Turkey join the group.

"If you take us in the name of the platform would become BRICST, I said," he told reporters in South Africa's capital Johannesburg on July 27.

The BRICS group, made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, invited Turkey to 10th annual meeting as the term chair of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Erdoğan traveled to Johannesburg along with the country's foreign minister, finance and treasury minister, defense minister, commerce minister and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials on July 26.

Erdoğan also said that the BRICS members welcomed his suggestion warmly.

"Especially China says that it stands in favor of enlargement. I have seen that they are considering involving other countries in this platform. They are not opposed to it," he said.

"We are in the G-20 with five of those countries. I wish they take the necessary steps to let us in and we take our place in the BRICS," he added.

Pointing to the potential of partnering in economy, investments and development projects with the BRICS countries, "I believe that it is not right to stay away from such groupings," Erdoğan said.

BRICS Summit hailed as a huge success (Саммит БРИКС приветствовался как огромный успех) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: summit
South Africa

The 10th BRICS Summit, which took place in Johannesburg from the 25th to the 27th of July, has been hailed as a huge success by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

"We have come to the end of the BRICS Summit, which has been hugely successful. We as South Africa are very pleased with the way the BRICS summit succeeded in achieving the many objectives we had in mind. It was one of the most well organised summits as articulated by the Heads of State from the BRICS countries," President Ramaphosa said.

This, as he reflected on the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit that ended at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on Friday evening.

The three-day summit brought together leaders who represent 40% of the world's population and 22% of the world's GDP.

Among the positions taken, President Ramaphosa said the BRICS grouping took a fairly firm stance against protectionism and "felt the need to do everything to protect the multilateral system which is now under attack."

Commitment to the multilateral trading system was re-affirmed by the bloc which spoke against protectionism and called for openness and multilateralism.

"We confirmed our commitment to the World Trade Organisation, as the most effective mechanism available to ensure that a rules based transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trading system," said President Ramaphosa.

Agreements signed

President Ramaphosa said the 2018 summit was proof that BRICS is not merely a talk shop but a forum that takes clear decisive decisions to better their nations as a collective.

On day-two of the summit, BRICS leaders signed the Johannesburg Declaration which among others supports an open and inclusive multilateral trading system.

In addition, two agreements were signed, one on environmental cooperation and a memorandum of understanding on a regional aviation partnership amongst the BRICS countries.

The summit agreed on the establishment of a BRICS Women's Forum, vaccine centre to be based in SA and a tourism track to promote people to people co-operation.

In furthering people to people co-operation, President Ramaphosa said the BRICS member-states envision the establishment of BRICS iterations in the areas of culture, arts and sports.

BRICS Outreach

As part of BRICS outreach as informed by the 2011 Sanya declaration, leaders from the five countries committed to expand their cooperation and partnerships to non-BRICS countries. In line with this, a BRICS-Africa outreach and BRICS-Plus sessions were held on Friday.

President Ramaphosa said South Africa, which took a stance to be truly representative of Africa in BRICS, achieved this objective during the course of the 2018 summit.

"When we took up our membership in BRICS, we felt that we were representing the African continent and that that we would use our participation in BRICS as leverage for the African continent and advocate for the development and progress of the African continent.

"This time around we achieve that in more than one way as various countries were able to network and have bilateral meetings," he said.

African Union (AU) Chair and Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Togo President and Chair of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Faure Gnassingbe, Angolan President Joao Lourenco, Ugandan President and Chair of the East African Community, Yoweri Museveni and Namibia as incoming chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) participated in the BRICS-Africa outreach session.

Meanwhile, Chair of the G20 and influential Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) Mauricio Marci; Chair of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and President of Turkey Recep Erdogan and United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres took part in the BRICS-Plus session on Friday.
Full text of Chinese president's speech at BRICS Business Forum in South Africa (Полный текст выступления китайского президента на бизнес-форуме БРИКС в Южной Африке) / China, July, 2018
Keywords: summit, Xi_Jinping, speech

JOHANNESBURG, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered on Wednesday a speech titled "Keeping Abreast of the Trend of the Times to Achieve Common Development" at the BRICS Business Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The following is the full text of the speech:

Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping

President of the People's Republic of China

At the BRICS Business Forum

Johannesburg, 25 July 2018

Your Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa,

Your Excellency President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo,

Your Excellency Deputy President David Mabuza of South Africa,


Friends from the business community,

Ladies and gentlemen,


Good afternoon! I am delighted to visit South Africa, the "rainbow nation," once again and meet you here in the beautiful city of Johannesburg. The first international summit I attended after taking office as Chinese president five years ago was the fifth BRICS Summit held in Durban. Three years ago, right here in this convention center, I attended the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit with African leaders.

Nearly three years on, as I once again set foot on the African continent, I am struck by its robust growth and strong vitality.

Thanks to the strong support of all participating parties, China successfully hosted the BRICS Xiamen Summit last September. We as BRICS leaders unanimously agreed to strengthen our strategic partnership, consolidate the cooperation architecture with its three main drivers, namely, economic cooperation, political and security cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges. We thus laid out a vision of BRICS+ cooperation and jointly ushered in the second Golden Decade of BRICS cooperation.

I understand that in the Nguni language, Johannesburg means the "Place of Gold." We cannot find a better place to chart the course for our Golden Decade than in this city of gold. Here in Johannesburg, I look forward to working with other BRICS leaders to embark on a new journey of BRICS cooperation and fulfill our new mission.

Ladies and gentlemen,


The BRICS mechanism owes its birth and growth to evolution of both the global economy and the international landscape. In its first decade, BRICS cooperation got off the ground and bore rich fruit. We five BRICS countries, guided by the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, have deepened our cooperation, enhanced our solidarity and mutual trust, improved the lives of our peoples, and made our bond of interests and friendship even closer. Indeed, our cooperation has contributed much to global economic recovery and growth.

We are witnessing major changes unfolding in our world, something unseen in a century. This is a world of both opportunities and challenges for us emerging markets and developing countries. We should pursue BRICS cooperation in the historical process of global transformation, and we should promote the development of our own countries in the historical course of promoting the common development of both BRICS countries and other countries in the world, thus making new advances in the next Golden Decade.

-- The next decade will be a crucial one in which new global growth drivers will take the place of old ones. A new round of revolution and transformation in science, technology and industries featuring artificial intelligence, big data, quantum information and bio-technology are gaining momentum. They are giving birth to a large number of new industries and business forms and models and will fundamentally change global development and people's work and lives. We must seize this important opportunity to enable emerging markets and developing countries to achieve leapfrog development.

-- The next decade will see faster changes in the international landscape and the international alignment of forces. Emerging markets and developing countries already contribute 80 percent of global economic growth. Based on exchange rate calculation, these countries account for nearly 40 percent of the global economic output. Growing at their current rates, these countries will see their economic output approach half of the global total in a decade. The collective rise of emerging markets and developing countries is unstoppable, and it will make global development more balanced and global peace more firmly based.

-- The next decade will see a profound reshaping of the global governance system. The world is moving toward multi-polarity and greater economic globalization amid setbacks. Geopolitical hotspots keep emerging, and the dark shadow of terrorism and armed conflicts still haunts us. Unilateralism and protectionism are mounting, dealing a severe blow to multilateralism and the multilateral trading regime. The international community has reached a new crossroads; and we are facing a choice between cooperation and confrontation, between opening-up and a close-door policy, and between mutual benefit and a beggar-thy-neighbor approach. Thus, the evolution of global governance system will have a profound impact on the development of all countries, particularly emerging markets and developing countries, and indeed on the prosperity and stability of the whole world.

We BRICS countries should keep abreast of the historical trend, seize development opportunities, jointly meet challenges, and play a constructive role in building a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.

First, we should pursue win-win cooperation to build an open economy. Openness and cooperation are the sure way to achieve progress in science and technology and growth of productivity. A trade war should be rejected, because there will be no winner. Economic hegemony is even more objectionable, as it will undermine the collective interests of the international community; those who pursue this course will only end up hurting themselves.

As the world economy is going through profound transition and changes, only by opening themselves can different countries achieve mutual benefit, shared prosperity and sustainable development. This should be the right choice for all countries. We BRICS countries should firmly promote an open world economy, be resolute in rejecting unilateralism and protectionism, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and jointly steer the global economy toward greater openness, inclusiveness, balanced growth and win-win outcomes for all. We should ensure that economic globalization will deliver more benefits. We should help emerging markets and developing countries, African countries and the least developed countries in particular, fully involve themselves in international division of labor and share in the benefits of economic globalization.

Second, we should pursue innovation and seize development opportunities. Science and technology, as the primary production forces, have provided inexhaustible power driving progress of human civilization. Humanity had made giant leaps forward as it progressed from an agricultural civilization to an industrial civilization, a process which created both huge gains in social productivity and growing pains. The world today has once again reached a critical historic juncture. In the unfolding new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, new things will inevitably emerge and take the place of old ones. Indeed, this will be a difficult and painful process. But if countries succeed in seizing opportunities that have presented themselves, they will be able to achieve new dynamic growth and deliver better lives to their people.

In the face of new opportunities brought by new science and technology, every country has an equal right to development. Those who fail to keep abreast of the trend of the times will fall behind and become irrelevant. What we can and should do is to seize opportunities, increase input in innovation, focus on creating new areas of growth and replace old growth drivers with new ones. We should endeavor to advance structural reform, remove all institutional barriers to innovation and fully unlock innovation potential and energize the market. We should develop a global perspective, boost international exchanges and cooperation in innovation, and fully leverage each other's comparative strengths and resource endowment, so as to enable more countries and people to benefit from scientific and technological advances. At the same time, we should ease the impact of application of information technology, automation and smart technology on traditional industries and create new job opportunities in the process of fostering new industries.

Third, we should pursue inclusive growth to deliver benefits to people of all countries. Uneven and insufficient development is a common challenge facing all countries. The North-South gap, namely, the gap between developed countries and emerging markets and developing countries, remains huge. And there are also development gaps of varying degrees within countries.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a comprehensive action plan for the international community. We BRICS countries should, basing ourselves on our actual national conditions, follow the guidance of the 2030 Agenda as we pursue our own development strategies. We should put people first, ensure coordinated economic and social development and protect the environment, thus giving our people a stronger sense of fulfillment and happiness. We should ensure harmony between man and nature and encourage the international community to fully implement the Paris Agreement. We should treat nature with awe and do more to foster an ecological system conducive to green development. It is necessary to promote international development cooperation, urge developed countries to fulfill their promises on official development assistance and increase support to developing countries.

Home to more developing countries than any other continent, Africa has more development potential than any other region in the world. We should strengthen cooperation with Africa, support its development and make BRICS-Africa cooperation a model for South-South cooperation. We should actively carry out cooperation with African countries in such areas as poverty reduction, food security, innovation, infrastructure development and industrialization in a way compatible with their national conditions. We should help African countries develop their economic structure, contribute to the implementation of Agenda 2063 of the African Union and thus enable Africa, an ancient continent, to gain strong vitality.

Fourth, we should uphold multilateralism and improve global governance. An enabling and stable external environment is crucial for the development of all countries, especially emerging markets and developing countries. Obviously, the current international order is not a perfect one. But as long as it is rule-based, aims to be equitable and pursues win-win outcomes as its goal, such an international order should not be discarded at will, still less should it be dismantled and rebuilt all over again.

We BRICS countries must uphold multilateralism. We should urge all parties to fully observe collectively adopted international rules, and we should treat all countries as equals regardless of their size, address issues that matter to all through consultation and oppose hegemony and power politics. We should promote common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, get actively involved in mediation efforts for resolving geopolitical hotspot issues. It is important for us to firmly support the multilateral trading regime, advance global economic governance reform and increase the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries. When new rules are made on such issues as innovation, trade and investment and intellectual property protection or on new frontiers including cyberspace, outer space or the polar regions, we should make sure that the views of emerging markets and developing countries are heeded, their interests and demands are taken into consideration, and there are sufficient opportunities for their development.

Ladies and gentlemen,


This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up. Success only comes through hard work. During the past 40 years, China has come a long way. With strenuous efforts, China has blazed a path of building socialism with distinctive Chinese features. Proceeding from China's realities and developing a global vision, we in China have both drawn strength from the wisdom of the time-honored Chinese civilization and learned from other countries, both east and west. We have embraced the world and integrated our country fully into it. While pursuing its own development, China has also made important contribution to peace and development of mankind.

As the world's biggest developing country, China will ride the trend of the times and pursue innovation-driven, coordinated, green and open development for all. We will step up efforts to pursue innovation-driven development and fully engage in international cooperation on innovation and technologies. We will take an active part in South-South cooperation to foster greater opportunities for common development of emerging markets and developing countries.

China will continue to develop itself with its door wide open. At the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia held last April, I announced a number of new initiatives to open China further, and these initiatives are being speedily pursued. China will build a more investment-friendly environment that is aligned with international standards, more transparent and law-based and encourages competition and opposes monopoly. China will take tough law enforcement steps to strengthen protection of intellectual property rights and make IPR infringement even more costly. We encourage companies to maintain normal technological exchanges and cooperation, and will see to it that their lawful intellectual property rights are protected. China will also increase imports to promote balance of payment under the current account.

China will host the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai this November, a major move to firmly support trade liberalization and open its market. The Expo will serve as a new platform for the world to access the Chinese market. By now, over 130 countries and regions and more than 2,800 companies have confirmed participation and over 150,000 buyers in and outside China are expected to attend this fair. I welcome business leaders from other BRICS and African countries to attend the Expo.

China will continue to vigorously pursue the Belt and Road Initiative to create new opportunities of social and economic development for participating countries and for them to implement the UN 2030 Agenda. The Belt and Road Initiative, guided by the principle of seeking shared benefits through extensive consultation and joint contribution, originated in China but belongs to the world. It is our sincere hope that other BRICS countries, African countries and other emerging markets and developing countries will forge strong partnerships with this initiative so that its benefits will reach more countries and their peoples.

China and African countries are destined to be good friends, good brothers and good partners, and China-Africa cooperation stands as a fine example of South-South cooperation. This coming September will see a reunion of China and African countries at the Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing. Themed on "China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation," the Beijing Summit aims to enhance complementarity between China-Africa joint efforts to pursue the Belt and Road Initiative, the 2030 Agenda and the 2063 Agenda on the one hand and the development strategies of African countries on the other. This will enable China and Africa to pursue high quality and high standard cooperation for mutual benefit and common development.

Ladies and gentlemen,


Business cooperation is the most important and fruitful aspect of BRICS cooperation. Thanks to our joint efforts, new advances have been made in this cooperation this year. We BRICS countries will forge a partnership on the new industrial revolution, which involves more coordination of macro economic policies, closer cooperation on innovation and industrialization and joint efforts to accelerate economic upgrading and the replacement of growth drivers. Our five BRICS countries have also made good progress in cooperation on trade facilitation, service trade, e-commerce, intellectual property rights and in other fields. These steps will enable us to seize opportunities and meet challenges in a changing world and enrich the BRICS Economic Partnership Strategy.

The business community is the mainstay of BRICS economic cooperation and a dynamic force driving it. As business leaders, you have a great role to play in shaping the second Golden Decade of BRICS cooperation. I hope that you will fully leverage your strengths to enhance win-win cooperation for common development between our five countries. As business leaders, you should take bold steps to explore new ground in pursuing reform and innovation. And working together, you can surely open up new horizon for the development of our five countries and other emerging markets and developing countries. I also hope you will keep in mind the needs of the people and pursue both economic and social returns, so as to increase public support for BRICS cooperation.

Ladies and gentlemen,


This year marks the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. Let me quote one of his famous sayings, "After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb." Indeed, the history of BRICS cooperation is a journey of our five countries climbing great hills only to reach new heights. I am convinced that when our five countries forge ahead together, we will scale new peaks, reach new heights, and make even greater contribution to peace and development of mankind.

Meeting of BRICS leaders with delegation heads from invited states (Встреча лидеров БРИКС с руководителями делегаций из приглашенных государств) / Russia, July, 2018
Keywords: summit, vladimir_putin

Vladimir Putin attended a meeting of BRICS leaders with delegation heads from invited African states and chairs of international associations.

Those invited included the leaders of African countries, namely, Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Gabon, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, the Seychelles, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The meeting was also attended by the heads of Argentina (the current chair of the G20), Turkey (the current chair of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) and Jamaica (the current chair of the Caribbean Community).

Before the meeting, there was a joint photo session.

* * *

Speech at the meeting of BRICS leaders with delegation heads from invited states

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues,

I would like to begin by greeting the leaders of African states and the heads of the countries that are the current chairs of the G20, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Caribbean Community.

I am grateful to the President of the Republic of South Africa for organising this representative meeting. Five years ago in Durban, BRICS leaders held a meeting with the heads of African states for the first time. Since then, our Group of Five and African countries have greatly strengthened and expanded their cooperation in the economy, politics and the humanitarian sphere.

Africa is one of the world's most rapidly developing regions. According to the UN, the population of this continent will reach 2.5 billion by 2050. The level of urbanisation in Africa is increasing as well: the proportion of the population living in urban areas is expected to reach 60 percent by 2050.

The domestic African market and consumer demand are expanding. BRICS and the African states have similar development goals in many respects. In 2015, the BRICS summit in Russia adopted the large-scale BRICS Strategy for Economic Partnership.

We need to think about involving our African partners and friends in the work of each of the areas we identified then: the economy, finance, and food security.

Russia has always given priority to the development of relations with African countries, based on long-standing traditions of friendship and mutual assistance. We have recently held a number of high-level contacts, including with many of the leaders present in this room.

Russia's trade with African states grew by more than 25 percent in 2017. Food supplies increased by 38 percent, metals – by 30, machinery and equipment – by 24 percent.

Russian businesses are interested in working with African partners in a variety of areas, including industry, agriculture, healthcare, communications, geology and mining.

I will give just a few examples of Russian companies' interaction with countries represented at this forum.

Yesterday, the President of Angola and I talked about the joint work of Angolan companies and the Russian company Alrosa in developing the Katoka diamond deposit, which accounts for 6 percent of the world's diamond output.

A joint venture was launched in Burundi to manufacture lighting equipment, with some of the products intended for export to other countries in East Africa.

Senegal is implementing projects in agriculture and building poultry and fish processing plants.

I would like to note in particular that Russia plans to increase its assistance to the development of the national energy sector in African states. We are implementing promising oil and gas projects with a number of countries, such as Angola, Mozambique, and Gabon.

In the nuclear power industry, where Russia is a technological leader, we offer our African partners the creation of an entire industry on a turnkey basis. Agreements on cooperation in the field of atoms for peace have been signed with a number of countries in the region, while in some of them the work has acquired a practical dimension. All these projects will be of strategic importance for Africa, where, according to different estimates, as many as 600 million people still live without electricity.

A considerable part of Russian initiatives provides for localising industrial businesses in Africa, including, among other things, the construction of plants manufacturing component parts and assembly works.

The implementation of these joint projects will serve to strengthen the industrial potential, support local businesses and create new and well-paid jobs. On the whole, this will lead to an improvement in living standards and a solution of social problems in African states.

Russia has a vested interest in intensifying interaction with African regional and sub-regional organisations, primarily with the African Union as well as the Southern African Development Community.

The amount of Russian assistance to Africa exceeded one billion dollars in 2017. Russian contributions to the World Food Programme fund are constantly growing. Russia is the fifth biggest contributor to the UNIDO Industrial Development Fund.

Considerable funds are remitted to the World Health Organisation for the fight against non-infectious diseases on the African continent. Our work to combat the Ebola virus has proved highly efficient.

Russia has for years trained national professional personnel for countries of the continent. Currently, thousands of Africans are being educated in Russia. We will continue to build up cooperation in this sphere.

In conclusion, I would like to inform you that we are studying the idea of holding a Russia-Africa summit with the participation of heads of African states. This could be preceded by relevant meetings of prominent business people, experts, and public figures; I intend to discuss this with representatives of African countries.

Thank you for your attention.

See also

Visit to South Africa. BRICS Summit July 26 − 27, 2018

News conference following BRICS summit (Пресс-конференция по итогам саммита БРИКС) / Russia, July, 2018
Keywords: summit, vladimir_putin

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon.

I would like to brief you on what we did during these two days and on the results of our work. First of all, I would like to remind you that BRICS developed in a natural way, which we pointed out today.

The first meeting of our group, which was smaller at the time, was held in St Petersburg in 2005, if memory serves me correctly, and brought together the leaders of China, Russia and India. The group was called RIC then, which stood for Russia, India and China. Brazil and subsequently South Africa joined our group later, which is why it is called BRICS.

Initially, our goals and tasks were very modest. We wanted to join forces, primarily in the economy, and discussed the coordination of our efforts towards attaining more ambitious goals in this vital area of activity.

As more members joined the group, it developed into a full-scale organisation with new spheres of activity and broader common interests.

One of our priorities, as we said at our previous meetings as well as at this meeting, is to fight terrorism and coordinate our activities in politics, trade and the economy in the broadest possible meaning of this word.

I would like just briefly to go through what we did this time. To begin with, this is our 10th summit meeting. The main subjects we discussed included resistance to unilateral approaches in global affairs, the protection of multilateralism, and the use of the advantages of the fourth digital industrial revolution.

We endorsed the Johannesburg Declaration that is aimed against economic sanctions and the use of force in violation of the UN Charter. It is also designed to prevent an arms race in outer space, support the Astana process on a settlement in Syria and preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The declaration includes the Russian initiatives on drafting an agreement on IT and communication technology, forming a platform for energy research and establishing a women's business alliance.

This new Russian initiative came about spontaneously, to be honest, but was enthusiastically backed by the participants. It deals with BRICS cooperation in culture, sport and cinematography. The participants even endorsed a sketch of the prize to be awarded at the BRICS film festival that we planned to organise and hold in the future.

The summit sent a powerful signal in favour of preserving the WTO, against protectionism and changing the rules of world trade. Inter-governmental memorandums were signed on cooperation in regional aviation and environmental protection, and an agreement on establishing a new Development Bank office in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The united session of the outreach BRICS Plus has just ended or is about to end. The themes are also known – consolidation of BRICS standing in the world and development of cooperation in Africa. BRICS has been supported by multilateral international associations.

As you may know, the summit coincided with Nelson Mandela's centenary. He defended the principles of equality, dignity and justice. These are the principles that underlie BRICS activities.

I also had bilateral meetings with the presidents of South Africa, Argentina, Angola, Turkey, Zambia, the People's Republic of China, and the Prime Minister of India, and also contacts with the leaders of Zimbabwe, Togo and other participants in the recent BRICS outreach meeting. This is a very general outline of the results and subjects that were discussed. If you have any questions, I will try to answer them.

Go ahead, please.

Question: Mr President, you mentioned that the BRICS format was initially conceived primarily as an economic cooperation platform, and has expanded to include other areas over time. What do you think the future of this format is? What other areas of cooperation might it come to include?

You also said that initially it was called BRIC, and South Africa joined later. We know that the possible expansion of BRICS was discussed today. Although there was no decision on this matter, what is your opinion about the possibility of opening BRICS to other countries, and what other countries could be included?

If you allow me, just one more question. According to earlier reports, you planned to discuss the Syrian settlement at the BRICS Summit, in particular the delivery of humanitarian aid, with your BRICS colleagues, and to propose that BRICS step up their role on this front. What was the response to this proposal?

Vladimir Putin: You know, the advantage of BRICS as a format is that it is free of all the red tape you find in many other associations like this. As President of Brazil, Michel Temer said today, BRICS is an organic association of countries that have many things in common: they have many shared interests and common approaches to addressing challenges that are relevant to all of humanity, including Russia.

In fact, there is no formal leader within BRICS. All decisions are taken by consensus with full respect for the interests of all the participants in this organisation. This is one of its key advantages. Today, we also mentioned the fact that many countries are showing an interest in what BRICS is doing.

BRICS Plus and an outreach format have already been created to this effect. For now, we agreed to rely on these formats for expanding our reach and drawing into our orbit countries that share the underlying principles and values of BRICS.

So far, we have no plans to expand BRICS membership, since the existing formats have proven effective. As for our discussions and the issues we intend to address, these are issues relevant for a vast majority of countries and economies around the world. The sky is the limit for us. The same applies to politics and security.

These are the subjects we discussed and on which we have adopted decisions or coordinated positions. You may see, regarding the non-deployment of weapons in space, it boils down to security and the arms race, or rather the prevention of an arms race in this particular case.

We also talked about fighting terrorism, but is this not a vital task facing many countries? In this context, we spoke about Syria, of course, and my colleagues welcomed our idea of encouraging a more active contribution to humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, which is an absolutely natural desire.

The fourth issue we discussed concerned the industrial revolution. This is happening in Russia and the other leading and emerging economies. Why did our colleagues support our proposal on strengthening our cooperation in the humanitarian area, as well as in culture, cinema and sport? Because this is what brings us closer together and creates a natural basis for interaction between people.

The Prime Minister of India said it was a very good idea because we can organise sporting events like a mini-Olympics for the BRICS countries, a sports mini-festival that could include national sports, which are not generally known in other countries but could be interesting for our countries.

This is a natural way to bring millions of people, or even hundreds of millions or billions of people closer together, considering that the BRICS countries account for nearly half of the world's population.

As for the second question, about Syria, I have answered this.

Next, please.

Question: You have said many times that Russia must reduce its dependence on the US dollar. Russia has recently been selling US treasury bonds, bringing the share in the reserves down to nearly zero. Is this all you plan to do?

Is this a new state policy, or just protection against the potential extension of the sanctions? If Russia abandons the dollar, what alternative currency would you use? Could it be a BRICS country currency, for example the yuan? We know that the Bank of Russia is increasing its share of yuan denominated assets.

If I may, there is one more question I simply have to ask.

Vladimir Putin: Let me answer this question first, and then you can ask your second question.

Russia is not giving up on the dollar, which is a universal reserve currency. The Euro can also claim this status more or less, but not fully. Therefore, we are well aware of what the dollar represents today.

As for reserve currencies as such, regional ones are already appearing. To a certain extent, the Russian ruble plays this role in the CIS or EAEU countries. In general, the strength and value of any national currency depends on the strength and value of the economy standing behind it. We must proceed from these fundamental assumptions.

A few words about the dollar again. We must minimise the risks. We are seeing what is happening with the sanctions that are essentially illegal restrictions. We are aware of the risks and are trying to minimise them.

As for the dollar as a reserve currency, we are not alone in talking about this problem, and it is becoming a problem. You are wrong if you think that this is Russia's initiative. A great number of countries are talking about exactly this – the need to expand the capabilities of global finance and the global economy, and create new reserve currencies. This will make the global economy and global finance more stable. This is abundantly clear.

As for our American partners and the restrictions that they are introducing, including in those dollar settlements, I believe this is a big strategic mistake on their behalf because they are thus undermining confidence in the dollar as a reserve currency. This is the bottom line.

Quite recently, just several years ago, it did not occur to anyone that such instruments might be used in political struggle, in political competition. Everyone proceeded from the premise that politics is politics or as we joke here: "War is war but lunch is still on schedule." The same should be true here: disputes are disputes, but when it comes to economics, some things are absolutely stable and immutable.

It turned out this was not the case: payment systems are being used as a political argument in political disputes and in settling differences; currency is being used, too. I believe it is absolutely clear that this is damaging the dollar as the world reserve currency and undermining trust in it – this is what it is all about. If this were not the case, there would not be a desire on the part of not one but dozens of countries to consider other options.

It is hard to say now what these options are, but the yuan is certainly acquiring such qualities. I believe that if it becomes freely convertible from an economic standpoint, this process will accelerate. But it has already been added to the IMF basket, so this is nothing special, a natural process. Let me repeat that the importance of a national currency depends on the significance of the economy behind it.

Again, we are not going to make any abrupt movements. We are not going to give up on the dollar in any way. We will use it to the extent to which the US financial authorities will not prevent the use of the dollar in settlements.

Question: The second part of the question is also related to the US.

After your Helsinki visit, the US invited you to attend the next summit, suggesting that you meet Donald Trump in Washington later this year. As far as I understand, the US has opted to roll back this meeting until next year. My question is, when do you expect this meeting to take place, and will you accept the invitation? Generally speaking, do you believe that Trump can deliver on his promise to improve Russian-American relations considering that there are so many moves in opposite directions?

Vladimir Putin: The fact that President Trump always seeks to deliver on his promises, primarily those he gives to his voters, the American people, is one of his greater assets. By the way, I believe this to be a positive trait of the current president, since more often than not leaders are quick to forget what they promised when heading into the election. This is not the case with Trump. He can be criticised for what he does, as so many do, but it is also clear that he tries to deliver on his campaign promises.

As for our meetings, I find them useful. Let me reiterate what I have said on a number of occasions: in Helsinki, we discussed matters of vital concern for our countries. For example, the New START Treaty expires in 2021. So will we renew it or not?

Containing the arms race is something both the United States and Russia are interested in, and the same applies to the rest of the world. In 2021, the New START Treaty will cease to exist unless we initiate negotiations, since we have been unable to resolve some issues that have arisen in the course of the treaty application and implementation.

There are other problems related, for example, to conflict settlement, including Syria. Yes, we do have working contacts, but this is never enough, since top-level political contact is also essential. We need to accommodate the interests of all states within the region, including Syria, as well as Iran, Israel and Turkey, and many other countries in the region like Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, etc.

But will we discuss all this at the top political level or not? Or is this a secondary issue for us? I think that this is not the case. No, this is not a secondary issue, and the same applies to the JCPOA (the Iranian nuclear programme). Is this a matter of concern for Iran only, or only for the United States?

No, it is relevant for a great number of countries and Europe as a whole, and many others. What I mean is that I believe the JCPOA is an effective tool for containing the arms race and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This can be a matter of controversy or a subject of talks, but how can this be carried out when there are no meetings? You cannot settle everything over the phone.

As for further meetings, I understand what President Trump said. He wants to hold further meetings, and I am ready for this too, but we have to have the right conditions, including in our two countries.

We are interested in such meetings. We are ready to invite President Trump to Moscow. Incidentally, he has an invitation; I told him about it. I am also ready to visit Washington, D.C. But again, the right conditions must be in place.

We will generally remain in contact in the near term, including at the venues of various international events, for example, the G20. There are also plans for possible meetings at other international forums. So, despite the difficulties, in this case the domestic political situation in the US, life goes on and our contacts continue.

Question: Another question on the US: as far as we know, at the meeting with Mr Trump, you brought up the idea of a referendum on the territory of the Donbass republics. I am wondering how he reacted to this proposal. We already know that Kiev did not like it. Do you think it possible to hold this referendum under the auspices of Russia and some other countries?

Vladimir Putin: I will abstain from commenting on this for now. It is a very delicate, sensitive subject that requires additional analysis.

Question: Can you please clarify the position of the BRICS leaders: have you decided to postpone a BRICS expansion for now? I do not quite understand, is this the decision of the leaders or have the candidate countries that have been talking about joining for several years decided to slow down a little and take a step back? Who suggested postponing expansion?

Vladimir Putin: No candidates took a step back. On the contrary, they expressed readiness and willingness to be part of the BRICS framework as full members. But at today's narrow attendance meeting my colleagues approached this issue cautiously. They are willing to cooperate with other countries and do not rule out BRICS expansion in the future but they believe that it requires additional analysis.

This does not mean that the organization is closed, that its doors are closed. No, it is just that this issue should be properly analysed. Otherwise, the organization is open to anyone.

That is all. Thank you very much.

Brics: Sorry, we can't afford nuclear, Cyril tells Putin (Брикс: Извините, мы не можем позволить себе ядерное оружие, Сирил говорит Путину) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: summit, Cyril_Ramaphosa, vladimir_putin
South Africa

The Russian president was 'quite relaxed' about it, Ramaphosa says, adding there are no hidden agendas and they were straight-forward on the issue.

President Cyril Ramaphosa put a final nail in the nuclear power debate today, emphasising the South African economy cannot afford the nuclear build programme in its energy mix right now as the country has other urgent priorities.

During former president Jacob Zuma's administration, the South African government appeared hell-bent on signing off a R1 trillion nuclear-build programme with Russian state-owned nuclear energy company, Rosatom, to build four reactors that would provide 9.6 megawatts to Eskom's electricity grid.

Speaking during a closing media briefing of the 10th Brics Leaders' Summit in Johannesburg, Ramaphosa said he had told the Russian delegation led by President Vladimir Putin that the South African economy was not in a place where it could deal with huge financial constraints.

"The issue of the nuclear came up. [Russia] wanted to know where we are in relation to the nuclear programme and we gave them a clear, straight-forward answer which we have articulated publicly, and we said to them our policy is to have a mixed energy type of policy. We will have energy sources that deal with fossil fuels which is coal, renewable energy, we will also have nuclear, hydro, and that is the architecture of our energy policy and involvement going forward," Ramaphosa said.

"In terms of nuclear we said right now, because our economy is not operating at a level where we would like it to and we have huge financial constraints, we are not able to proceed with the nuclear build programme. And President Putin was quite relaxed about this, he said: 'You deal with your issues and when the situation changes we can keep talking about this.' And that is where we left it. There is no other hidden agendas, we were straight-forward about it."

Ramaphosa said South Africa had hosted a very successful three-day gathering which ended up being attended by heads of states from 31 countries on invitation.

The 10th Brics Leaders Summit discussed at length bilateral economic and trade issues, cooperation on political and security issues, as well as people-to-people movement and cultural exchange issues.

BRICS leaders to pave a new growth path (Лидеры БРИКС прокладывают новый путь роста) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: summit, SA_chairmanship
South Africa

The leaders of the five major emerging national economies forming the BRICS grouping are expected to converge at Sandton, Johannesburg, this morning, for the second day of the 10th annual summit.

The summit will see the head of states, business leaders, civil society organisations and academics descend on the ICC under the theme: "BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution".

They will be joined by high-ranking officials from about nine African countries, the African Union, other emerging markets such as Ethiopia, Angola, Zambia, Namibia, Senegal, Gabon, Togo and Uganda who have been invited by the leaders as part of their BRICS outreach programme.

Led by President Cyril Ramaphosa as the current chair of the group, the summit kicked off with a business forum on Wednesday. President Ramaphosa was joined by his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping and about 1200 government officials and business people.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to land this morning to join the session while India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Michel Temer touched down at Waterkloof Airport on Wednesday afternoon.

Second day of summit

According to the official programme, the second day of the summit will see the tabling of the report by the Chair of the BRICS Business Council, a report by the President of the New Development Bank.

The five-member countries are expected to bring to the table several issues they might want to see adopted by this Johannesburg summit.

Working Group on Peacekeeping, Vaccine Research Centre

Pretoria has also indicated that it wants to see the establishment of a Working Group on Peacekeeping and the establishment of a Vaccine Research Centre for Collaboration with BRICS vaccine innovation and development partners. This is intended to be a physical research centre focused on research and development and vaccine innovation.

BRICS Gender and Women's Forum

It also wants to see the establishment of a BRICS Gender and Women's Forum – intended as a dedicated track for gender and women's issues, given the economic benefit to be derived from the socio-economic empowerment of women, particularly in developing countries.

Inclusive growth, 4th Industrial Revolution

Another area Pretoria has put to the table is leveraging the strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership towards the pursuit of inclusive growth and advancing the 4th Industrial Revolution – this is intended to foster discussions to address opportunities provided by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

In addition to these, it wants the leaders to adopt the establishment of a BRICS Tourism Track of Cooperation.

Pretoria believes that these proposals will go a long way in consolidating cooperation amongst the BRICS partners as they enter the second decade of BRICS.

Global trade war

But it is the threat of a worsening global trade war which is likely to top the agenda of the summit this morning.

The BRICS grouping is expected to table their views on various issues of cooperation, the political and security environment globally, the reforms of the United Nations and universal multilateral organisation and the advancing of global development and promoting and protecting of human rights.

With the group celebrating a decade of BRICS cooperation- the leaders will be looking at how they will grow the cooperation going forward.

New cooperation areas

In this regard, the leaders will weigh in on new measures such as intra-BRICS, new cooperation areas and the possibility of establishing a BRICS credit rating company in an effort to break the dominance of the big three developed-nation firm among others.

Over the past 10 years, the BRICS countries have already carried out substantial cooperation in a number of areas, laying a firm foundation for the bloc to play a larger role on the world stage, including in the global efforts to tackle climate change and promote sustainable development.

The New Development Bank, the bloc's financial arm, offers a glimpse. Since its launch in July 2015, the bank has approved 21 projects worth $5.1 billion.

The five-member states, already account for about a fifth of the world's economic output and 40% of its population.

Details of the leader's deliberations will culminate in the adoption of the "Johannesburg Declaration" which will include joint commitments for the year ahead.

First day of summit

The first day of the summit, which saw the sitting of the BRICS Business Forum, was addressed by both Presidents Ramaphosa and Xi.

Inclusive growth, the trade wars, new global growth drivers, the international landscape and the global governance system dominated the first day of the summit.

President Ramaphosa used his address to reflect on the progress of the BRICS union in a number of co-operation areas, saying it is a success in the global developmental agenda.

However with the multilateral trading system facing unprecedented challenges, the President expressed his concerns on the rise in unilateral measures that are incompatible with World Trade Organization rules.

"We are worried about the impact of these measures, especially in developing countries. These developments call for a thorough discussion on the role of trade in promoting sustainable development and inclusive growth," said President Ramaphosa.

Speaking through an interpreter, President Xi also noted that the world was moving toward multi-polarity and greater economic globalization. He said this trend is a blow to multilateralism and the multilateral trading regime.

In this light, he called on the BRICS countries to unite more than before.

Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, who also addressed the forum, highlighted the progress made by BRICS. However, he called for increased investment-led trade among one another.

This investment-led trade approach is hoped to stimulate economic development by promoting outward investment, trade, industrialisation, added value chains and infrastructure development.

Brics Summit in Johannesburg and Turkey: dialogue to be continued (Саммит БРИКС в Йоханнесбурге и Турция: диалог продолжится) / Russia, July, 2018
Keywords: summit, expert_opinion
Author: Andrei Areshev

On July 26, 2018, Vladimir Putin met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the 10th BRICS Summit in South Africa's Johannesburg. Strengthening of economic cooperation within the BRICS, further improvement of its activities implies closer interaction with Turkey, which implements a number of economic programs and infrastructure projects in Africa and Latin America. The BRICS summit in South Africa will also make an important contribution to the development of Turkey, Erdogan said, speaking at the opening of the administrative building of his country's embassy in the capital of South Africa, Pretoria. In recent years, Turkish embassies and economic missions have been opened in several dozen countries of the African continent, and the trade turnover multiplied. "The place of Turkey in the modern world, the fact that its opinion cannot be ignored at the global level, is the fruit of Ankara's efforts over the past 16 years," the Anadolu agency quoted the president.

Welcoming the Turkish leader, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted the progressive development of bilateral relations in many areas, including the settlement of the Syrian crisis, trade increase and the implementation of major infrastructure projects. In his turn, the Turkish leader said, that "our cooperation leads to envy on the part of others". Closer interaction between Turkey and individual BRICS members in the future can put the issue of the country's membership in this organization, which is increasingly manifesting itself as one of the centers in the emerging multipolar world. In the 2000s Turkey achieved remarkable economic success and entered the "Big Twenty". In the past, some technical meetings with the BRICS were held in Turkish territory, which indicated the mutual interest and even, as some experts said, the potential consent of the Turkish leadership to join the BRICS. Disappointment in the "European future" of Turkey (which is still a NATO member) objectively causes an interest increase in "non-Western" economic and political formations, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS, the Eurasian Economic Union. Nevertheless, it should be noted, that some of the Turkish leaders' statements were time-serving and had no consequences.

However, we live in a world, where much can change rather quickly. Turkish foreign policy is determined by pragmatic considerations, and the figures speak for themselves. Turkey's trade with the BRICS countries, although less sufficient than with Western partners, nevertheless grows steadily and last year amounted nearly $ 61 billion (Turkey's exports to the BRICS countries were $ 7.3 billion, imports $ 53.4 billion). Former Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek once remarked, that the BRICS countries have established their own development bank, but "in order to take part in the BRICS projects, it is necessary to be a member of the organization. In this regard, Turkey is considering the issue of participation in the BRICS. "

Talks about a partial transition to national currencies in bilateral transactions, quite noticeable within the BRICS, correspond to the rhetoric of Erdogan, who calls his citizens to abandon the dollar. The Turkish leader, who recently won another presidential election, was invited to Johannesburg as the current chairman of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The possible more active participation of Turkey in the BRICS activities would contribute to the expansion of the geographical area of this alliance, which seems to overgrow a purely economic framework. In particular, in early July in Durban it was decided to establish a BRICS Forum of Intelligence Communities. It seems to deal with common transnational threats, which, probably, could also be interesting to potential new members of this association.

For various reasons, Turkey is actively involved in many regional conflicts, primarily in Syria, where Ankara is one of the guarantors of the political settlement process. Perhaps closer cooperation with the BRICS will create conditions for at least partial restoration of the Syrian economy, destroyed by the long-standing armed conflict. The appearance of an additional institutional platform will also positively affect the Russian-Turkish economic relations, which, possibly, will acquire additional impetus through the implementation of joint projects in third countries.

In general, there are a lot of topics, and the South African BRICS summit testifies the growing role of this alliance and its capabilities, and the internal strengthening attracts new members.

Article by Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov, published by the South African magazine Ubuntu on July 25, 2018 (Статья Министра иностранных дел России С.В.Лаврова, опубликованная в южноафриканском журнале «Убунту» 25 июля 2018 года) / Russia, July, 2018
Keywords: summit, sergey_lavrov

It is highly symbolic that BRICS is returning to Africa in 2018 which marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela, a prominent political and public figure of a global scale. A true son of the South African nation, he dedicated all his life to the fight against apartheid and rightfully became a key figure in the national reconciliation process in South Africa. We will always be grateful to him for his great personal contribution to the establishment of friendly relations between our two countries that have now reached a high level of a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Our Group is a unique example of building partnerships between States that differ greatly in terms of culture and civilization. And this is exactly why it is so strong and united. The cooperation between the five countries is based on mutual respect and mutual benefit, as well as strict consideration of each other's interests. BRICS countries represent a major stabilizing factor promoting sound multilateral initiatives in global affairs.

I am convinced that BRICS can be proud of the fact that it is a successor in interstate relations of the Wise Madiba's work. The five countries advance the same principles that Nelson Mandela stood up for – equality, dignity and justice – when forming constructive and equitable polycentric pattern of international relations.

We welcome the active and highly effective work done by South Africa at the helm of the Group in 2018. Led by Pretoria, our countries managed to significantly enhance the multifaceted strategic partnership, make qualitative and quantitative leaps in all three major pillars of intra-BRICS cooperation: policy and security, economy and finance, culture and humanitarian exchanges. Our South African friends have succeeded in strengthening successive, consistent, sustainable and continuous interaction between the five States. This serves as a foundation for the steady development of BRICS.

Russia supports fully BRICS priority areas of action proposed by South Africa for this year. The crosscutting issue of the Chairship – launching partnership on the Fourth Industrial Revolution – is of high relevance for us since it is in line with Russia's state programmes on digital economy development.

We welcome special attention paid by Pretoria to Africa-related issues in the work of BRICS. This area of work is becoming increasingly important for the Russian foreign policy as well. Russia has significantly contributed to decolonization processes and the rise of new independent States on the continent. We support further strengthening of the sovereignty of African countries, their independent choice of the way of development while preserving national distinctiveness. Sub-Saharan Africa is the most dynamically developing region of the planet which plays a key role in world mineral and hydrocarbon markets, a broad and rapid-growing consumer market, and one of the most attractive investment areas.

BRICS-Africa Partnership that was launched during South Africa's 2013 BRICS Chairship is steadily developing. During the Johannesburg Summit a special outreach session will be held with the participation of the heads of States presiding over regional organizations of the continent in order to focus on its most relevant issues.

We welcome the decision of the BRICS Chair to invite to Johannesburg other friends of the five countries from around the world representing authoritative integration associations. This is the practical implementation of the «BRICS plus» initiative approved by our leaders during the Xiamen Summit. Thus we expand the global reach of the Group and establish the outer circle of like-minded countries. In this regard, BRICS has good potential to become a unique platform for linking various integration processes in a flexible way.

The attractiveness of the «Big Five» to third countries is explained by the fact that they are open to constructive cooperation and share universal values. I am referring to the impeccable respect for the United Nations Charter and basic principles of international law, including sovereign equality of States, commitment to the UN central role and indivisibility of security. We do not accept double standards, military interventions, unilateral coercive economic measures, protectionism and unfair competition. We stand in solidarity that the use of military force to solve international problems is unacceptable. We defend the foundations of an open, inclusive, equitable, transparent and mutually beneficial multilateral trade system with the WTO at its core.

Russia consistently advocates a greater coordination of the five BRICS countries within major international platforms, such as the UN, G20, WTO, IMF, World Bank, as well as other multilateral organizations and fora. When the States of the Group speak up in a strong and unified voice about the core issues of global politics and economy, this voice is heard by other States as well. Consolidation of our efforts is a key to ensuring world stability and a way to settle serious conflicts.

BRICS successfully promotes cooperation in international politics, in particular on such issues as terrorism, drug threat and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Russia pays particular attention to strengthening cooperation in international information security, including the development of a relevant intergovernmental agreement between the five countries. Our country aims to increase joint efforts with partners against the use of ICT for terrorist or other unlawful purposes.

BRICS economic and financial cooperation remains the most active area of development. Over the past two years significant progress has been made in the establishment of the fully operational New Development Bank (NDB). The pipeline of approved investment projects in the BRICS countries is now more than USD 5,1 billion and can exceed USD 18 billion by 2021. We expect that the NDB Africa Regional Center established last year will make an important contribution to financing initiatives in South Africa.

Among other economic achievements of the five BRICS countries, it is worth mentioning the establishment of the mechanism of the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) and the launch of a practical dialogue on mutual payments in national currencies. We expect that new initiatives to enhance interaction in the field of energy research and female entrepreneurship will also be made, adding value to the practical results of South Africa's Chairship.

Interaction within the so-called «third basket» of intra-BRICS cooperation, which includes humanitarian issues, looks promising. South Africa gives priority to this area. The work to implement the Agreement between the Governments of the BRICS States on Cooperation in the Field of Culture and the Action Plan to promote practical cultural interaction is underway. The BRICS Games, Film Festival, Civil and Academic Fora, events with the participation of young diplomats, scientists, and representatives of the friendship cities have taken place so far this year.

We note that the Johannesburg Summit is properly prepared and has an intense programme. We are confident in its success. We expect that it will have a special «milestone» character. The anniversary meeting of the leaders is intended not only to confirm the BRICS countries' commitment to further strengthening of the full-fledged strategic partnership, but also to determine the key priorities of the «Big Five» activities for years to come.

Foreign Ministry statement on the US House of Representatives' passing of the 2019 defence budget bill (Заявление МИД России в связи с одобрением Палатой представителей Конгресса США проекта оборонного бюджета на 2019 г.) / Russia, July, 2018
Keywords: mofa, national_security

We have taken note of the National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2019 passed by the US House of Representatives. This document, in particular, provides for allocating funds to build a space-based echelon for intercepting ballistic missiles (including the development and deployment of a new early warning satellite group by the end of 2022). The completion of the interception system is planned for 2030, but testing of prototypes is to begin as soon as in 2022, once the new sensors are put into service. The bill instructs the US Missile Defence Agency to start implementing these programmes regardless of the recommendations of the still ongoing revision of the missile defence policy.

It seems, given US President Donald Trump's instruction to create the Space Force as an independent service branch separate from the United States Air Force, the preparations for creating the ABM space group is another step towards implementing the policy of America's dominance of outer space. These efforts are a direct confirmation that Washington does not intend to abandon the plans to use force in outer space proposed by the previous administration.

Such actions by US lawmakers do not contribute to a constructive dialogue on strategic stability, or to a favourable atmosphere within the framework of the review process of the destabilising effect on strategic stability and international security.

Given that the US Congress is talking about the development and creation of space-based anti-ballistic missile defence weapons, we would like to mention that there is a direct correlation between strategic offensive and defensive weapons, as stated in the 2010 START Treaty. Washington's prior attempts to secure its military supremacy have invariably ended in heightened international tension and new rounds of the arms race.

We are certainly closely following the US moves and are carefully analysing the possible consequences. We urge the American side to show good judgment and not repeat the mistakes of the past. Armed confrontation in outer space can have no less detrimental impact than the nuclear arms race unleashed by Washington back in the middle of the last century, with the whole world still failing to cope with its consequences.

Russia stands resolutely against such reckless undertakings. We give priority to the use and exploration of outer space for exclusively peaceful purposes. Our approaches are also reaffirmed in the July 26 Declaration of the 10thBRICS Summit, which emphasises the paramount importance of strict compliance with, and the need to consolidate and strengthen the current regulatory regime that provides for the peaceful use of outer space. The Declaration also expresses the collective concern of the BRICS members over the possible arms race in space and its transformation into an arena for military confrontation.

In recent years, we have come up with a number of initiatives aimed at preventing an arms race in outer space, the key one being the Russian-Chinese draft treaty on prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space and of the threat or use of force against outer space objects, an updated version of which was submitted to the Conference on Disarmament in June 2014. We are supported by sensible forces in all countries and intend to continue active result-oriented work towards this end.

We would like to hope that common sense will prevail in the United States. We count on Washington to finally abandon the plans that would have the most negative impact on the state of international security, and to support in deeds, rather than in words the efforts by responsible countries aimed at real strengthening of international security and strategic stability.
Statement by His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa during the Open Session of the 10th BRICS Summit, Sandton International Convention Centre, 26 July 2018 (Заявление Его Превосходительства президента Сирила Рамафозы во время открытой сессии 10-го саммита БРИКС, Международный конференц-центр Сандтон, 26 июля 2018 года) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: summit, Cyril_Ramaphosa, speech
South Africa

Your Excellency, President Temer,
Your Excellency, President Putin,
Your Excellency, Prime Minister Modi,
Your Excellency, President Xi,
Honourable Ministers,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

From its formation, the BRICS partnership has had its sights firmly set on the future.

It is itself the product of a rapidly changing world, which has seen the emergence of new economies, the realignment of old alliances and shifts in the balance of global power.

It is therefore appropriate that at this moment in the evolution of BRICS, we should focus on collaboration for inclusive growth and shared prosperity in the 4th industrial revolution.

Quantum leaps in technology and innovation present enormous opportunities for growth, development and human progress.

This surge in innovation has the potential to dramatically improve productivity and to place entire countries on a new trajectory of prosperity.

It has the potential to solve many of the social problems we face, by better equipping us to combat disease, hunger and environmental degradation.

However, unless it is approached in a collaborative manner, underpinned by a developmental agenda, rapid technological change could merely serve to entrench existing disparities within and between countries.

It could also create new faultlines in our societies.

This places a great responsibility on all of us.

Through our collective effort, by working together, I am certain that we will be able to confront the challenges and seize the opportunities that this new age of development presents.

We proceed from the understanding that this is not simply a digital revolution, but a fundamental shift in the way people live, work and relate.

It is a phenomenon that cuts across all industries and technologies.

There is no area of economic activity that is immune from technological disruption.

According to Professor Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum, the 4th Industrial Revolution "is characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres".

This means that our response needs to be comprehensive and integrated.

As BRICS countries, we should not become mere adopters of new technologies.

Rather, we need to combine our resources and expertise to become innovators.

We should not allow technology to shape our societies.

We must instead ensure that the needs of our societies shape the technologies that we develop.

We must ensure that mastery of the 4th Industrial Revolution does not become the exclusive preserve of just a handful of countries.

We must promote inclusivity, diversity and cooperation.


The technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution provide developing and emerging economies with the opportunity to leapfrog the technologies of the preceding revolutions.

The rapid adoption of mobile telecommunications in Africa and other parts of the developing world, for example, demonstrates how innovation can ignite sudden bursts of development.

It demonstrates that, properly harnessed, new technologies can ensure more efficient processes and more reliable systems of service delivery.

They can expand economic participation by ensuring that knowledge and information is more broadly disseminated across the population.

To succeed, however, we need to equip our people with the necessary skills to thrive in such a society and in such an economy.

The World Economic Forum predicts that the three most important skills for an employee by 2020 will be complex problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity.

Without adequate training, only a few emerging economies will possess these skills in sufficient numbers, while others will see their prospects stifled by automation.

There is a need to develop more agile and applied education models.

While this must start even before a child enters primary school and continue right through to our universities and colleges, there is an urgent need in developing and emerging economies to re-skill a significant portion of the current workforce.

Governments should formulate and institute policies that are supportive of these processes.

Such policies should provide a favourable environment for foreign investment in the development of new sectors and technologies.

Such investment improves the supply of relevant skills, expands the capacity for research and development, and contributes to an environment that nurtures innovation.

Equally important are policies that support and stimulate local industries, especially small, medium and micro enterprises.

It is against this backdrop that BRICS Ministers of Industry resolved to establish the BRICS Partnership on the New Industrial Revolution.

It aims to translate the vision of the second decade of BRICS cooperation into reality through deepened cooperation on industrialisation, innovation, inclusiveness and investment.

Under the partnership, and in support of the manufacturing sector, a new industrial revolution advisory group comprised of policy makers and experts from all BRICS countries will be established.


As the BRICS Forum, we can neither ignore, nor take for granted, the reality that is the 4th Industrial Revolution and the impact that it will have on the global economy.

As we enter the second Golden Decade of BRICS, we need to look to the future and place ourselves at the forefront of the extraordinary changes that are taking place.

In conclusion, our officials must engage in robust discussions to develop concrete actions.

As a bloc, we should use this opportunity to ensure that we fully appreciate and exploit the opportunities presented by this wondrous new age of technology in building a brighter shared future for humanity.

I thank you.

10TH BRICS SUMMIT JOHANNESBURG DECLARATION (Декларация Десятого Саммита БРИКС) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: johannesburg_declaration, summit, concluded_agreements
South Africa


  • We, the Heads of State and Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa, met from 25 - 27 July 2018 in Johannesburg, at the 10th BRICS Summit. The 10th BRICS Summit, as a milestone in the history of BRICS, was held under the theme "BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution".
  • We are meeting on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela and we recognise his values, principles and dedication to the service of humanity and acknowledge his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of the culture of peace throughout the world.
  • We commend South Africa for the Johannesburg Summit thrust on development, inclusivity and mutual prosperity in the context of technology driven industrialisation and growth.
  • We, the Heads of State and Government, express satisfaction regarding the achievements of BRICS over the last ten years as a strong demonstration of BRICS cooperation toward the attainment of peace, harmony and shared development and prosperity, and deliberated on ways to consolidate them further.
  • We reaffirm our commitment to the principles of mutual respect, sovereign equality, democracy, inclusiveness and strengthened collaboration. As we build upon the successive BRICS Summits, we further commit ourselves to enhancing our strategic partnership for the benefit of our people through the promotion of peace, a fairer international order, sustainable development and inclusive growth, and to strengthening the three-pillar-driven cooperation in the areas of economy, peace and security and people-to-people exchanges.
  • We recommit ourselves to a world of peace and stability, and support the central role of the United Nations, the purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter and respect for international law, promoting democracy and the rule of law. We reinforce our commitment to upholding multilateralism and to working together on the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals as we foster a more representative, democratic, equitable, fair and just international political and economic order.
  • We reiterate our determination to work together to strengthen multilateralism and the rule of law in international relations, and to promote a fair, just, equitable, democratic and representative international order.
  • We recommit our support for multilateralism and the central role of the United Nations in international affairs and uphold fair, just and equitable international order based on the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, respect for international law, promoting democracy and the rule of law in international relations, and to address common traditional and non-traditional security challenges.
  • We welcome the hosting of the BRICS-Africa Outreach and second BRICS Plus Cooperation with Emerging Markets and Developing Countries (EMDCs) during the Johannesburg Summit.
  • We express satisfaction at the outcomes of Ministerial Meetings that have been held (Annex 1) and look forward to the remainder of meetings to be held under the 2018 BRICS Calendar of Events.


  • We reaffirm our commitment to the United Nations, as the universal multilateral organisation entrusted with the mandate for maintaining international peace and security, advancing global development and promoting and protecting human rights.
  • We reaffirm our commitment to the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, and support for the United Nations as the universal intergovernmental organisation entrusted with the responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, advancing sustainable development as well as ensuring the promotion, and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
  • We reiterate our commitment to the strengthening of multilateral institutions of global governance to ensure that they are able to comprehensively address global challenges.
  • We also recognise the inherent strength of regional initiatives in support of the objectives of the broader multilateral system.
  • We further reaffirm our commitment to the centrality of the universal collective security system enshrined in the UN Charter. We recognize the importance of working towards an international system based on international law, with the UN Charter as its fundamental cornerstone, which fosters cooperation and stability in a multipolar order. We note the long overdue outstanding task of ensuring the adequate representation of African States in the UN, especially in peace and security matters.
  • Faced with international challenges requiring our cooperative efforts, we reiterate our commitment to shaping a more fair, just and representative multipolar international order to the shared benefit of humanity, in which the general prohibition of the use of force is fully upheld and which excludes the imposition of unilateral coercive measures outside the framework of the UN Charter. We emphasise the indivisible nature of peace and security and reiterate that no country should enhance its security at the expense of the security of others.
  • We recall the 2005 World Summit Outcome document and reaffirm the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of the developing countries so that it can adequately respond to global challenges. China and Russia reiterate the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN.
  • We underscore the importance of sustained efforts aimed at making the United Nations more effective and efficient in implementing its mandates. We encourage further collaboration amongst the BRICS countries on a better resourced UN, on its administration and budget, on preserving the UN's Member State-driven character and ensuring better oversight of and strengthening the Organisation.
  • We express our support for continued cooperation of BRICS members in areas of mutual interest including through regular exchanges amongst their multilateral Missions.
  • We reaffirm our commitment to fully implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to provide equitable, inclusive, open, all-round innovation-driven and sustainable development, in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental - in a balanced and integrated manner, towards the ultimate goal of eradicating poverty by 2030. We pledge our support for the important role of the United Nations, including the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), in coordinating and reviewing global implementation of the 2030 Agenda, to reform the UN Development System with a view to enhancing its capability in supporting member States in implementing the 2030 Agenda. We urge developed countries to honour their Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments fully in time and to provide additional development resources to developing countries.
  • Regarding Climate Change, we welcome the progress towards finalizing the Work Programme under the Paris Agreement and express our willingness to continue working constructively with other Parties to conclude its related negotiations at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) towards the 24th Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP24) to be held in Katowice, Poland in December 2018. We call upon all countries to fully implement the Paris Agreement adopted under the principles of the UNFCCC including the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and urge developed countries to provide financial, technological and capacity-building support to developing countries to enhance their capability in mitigation and adaptation.
  • We undertake to strengthen BRICS cooperation in energy, especially in transitioning to more environmentally sustainable energy systems supportive of the global sustainable development agenda, balanced economic growth and the collective socio-economic wellbeing of our citizens. We continue to strive toward universal energy access, energy security, energy affordability, reduced pollution and environmental conservation. We reaffirm that the diversification of energy supply sources, including renewable and low carbon energy sources, investments in energy and energy infrastructure, energy industry and market development and intra-BRICS collaboration for access to primary energy sources will continue to underpin our energy security. We recognise the need to accelerate energy transition including in transportation, heating and industry uses.
  • We acknowledge the importance of energy efficiency and the popularisation of an energy efficient life style in virtue of its potential contributions to energy security, industrial competitiveness, emissions reduction, economic growth, job creation and other areas when introduced.
  • We acknowledge that the BRICS Ministers of Energy agreed to establish the BRICS Energy Research Cooperation Platform and to develop its Terms of Reference, and note the ongoing discussions for that purpose.
  • We reaffirm and support the establishment of the BRICS Agricultural Research Platform (ARP) initiated by India in 2016. We appreciate the fundamental importance of research, development and innovation in global sustainability and competitiveness. We endeavour to strengthen the agricultural research collaborative networks among the BRICS countries to enhance the resilience of the collective agricultural and food systems in the face of the changing climate. We recognise the need for follow-up steps in implementing the aims and objectives of the ARP. We commit to step up intra-BRICS collaboration including within the frame of the Agriculture Research Platform and the Basic Agriculture Information Exchange System (BAIES).
  • We acknowledge the outcomes of the 4th BRICS Environment Ministers Meeting which was held under the theme "Strengthening cooperation amongst BRICS on Circular Economy in the context of the Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP)". We note that the circular economy approach represents enormous potential to reduce waste, to forge more environmentally sustainable processes, diversify our economies whilst contributing to economic growth and job creation.
  • We acknowledge the outcomes of the successive BRICS Environment Ministers' Meetings including the implementation of the Environmentally Friendly Technology Platform, Clean Rivers Umbrella Programme and the Partnership for Urban Environment Sustainability Initiative. The progress in the establishment of the BRICS Environmentally Sound Technology (BEST) Cooperation Platform is acknowledged, which is intended to be practical and results orientated, and would include partners, science organisations, civil society, private sector and financial institutions.
  • We welcome the commitment to enhance cooperation in the field of water on the basis of sustainable development in an integrated way, addressing the themes of water access flood protection, drought management, water supply and sanitation, water and climate, systematically facilitating water pollution prevention and control, river and lake ecosystem restoration and preservation, ecosystem conservation, and water resources management.
  • We acknowledge the BRICS Meeting of Heads of Disaster Management in Buffalo City, wherein the Action Plan 2018-2020, was adopted and the first meeting of the BRICS Joint Task Force was held to further enhance our cooperation in this field.
  • We reaffirm the intention to enhance cooperation and collaboration amongst BRICS countries in the field of biodiversity conservation, sustainable use and equitable access and benefit sharing of biological resources, and also undertake to promote our cooperation in biodiversity-related international conventions and fora including on endangered species and amongst our National Parks authorities.
  • We recognise the vast potential in cooperation and collaboration in advancing the Oceans Economy amongst BRICS countries, which encompasses multiple sectors, including the strategic areas of maritime transport, shipbuilding, offshore oil and exploration, aquaculture, port development, research and technology, conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, marine and coastal tourism, financial and insurance services, as well as coastal industrial zone development.
  • We remain committed to the continued implementation of the Agenda for BRICS cooperation on population matters 2015-2020, which was agreed to by the Ministers responsible for Population Matters in 2014, because the dynamics of population age structure changes in BRICS countries pose challenges and present opportunities, particularly with regard to gender inequality and women's rights, youth development, employment and the future of work, urbanisation, migration and ageing.
  • We deplore the continued terrorist attacks, including in some BRICS countries. We condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever committed and by whomsoever. We urge concerted efforts to counter terrorism under the UN auspices on a firm international legal basis and express our conviction that a comprehensive approach is necessary to ensure an effective fight against terrorism. We recall the responsibility of all States to prevent financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions from their territories.
  • We call upon the international community to establish a genuinely broad international counter-terrorism coalition and support the UN's central coordinating role in this regard. We stress that the fight against terrorism must be conducted in accordance with international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, international refugee and humanitarian law, human rights and fundamental freedoms. We reaffirm our commitment on increasing the effectiveness of the UN counter-terrorism framework, including in the areas of cooperation and coordination among the relevant UN entities, designation of terrorists and terrorist groups and technical assistance to Members States. We call for expeditious finalisation and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) by the United Nations General Assembly.
  • To address the threat of chemical and biological terrorism, we support and emphasise the need for launching multilateral negotiations on an international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism, including at the Conference on Disarmament.
  • We firmly believe that those responsible for committing, organising, or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable. We call upon all nations to adopt a comprehensive approach in combating terrorism, which should include countering radicalisation, recruitment, travel of Foreign Terrorist Fighters, blocking sources and channels of terrorist financing including, for instance, through organised crime by means of money-laundering, supply of weapons, drug trafficking and other criminal activities, dismantling terrorist bases, and countering misuse of the Internet by terrorist entities through misuse of the latest Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
  • We reaffirm the importance of the elaboration under the UN auspices of rules, norms and principles of responsible behaviour of States in ensuring security in the use of ICTs.
  • We embrace the undeniable benefits and new opportunities brought about by the advances in ICTs, especially in the context of the 4th industrial revolution. However, these advances also bring with them new challenges and threats resultant from the growing misuse of ICTs for criminal activities, the increasing malicious use of ICTs by state and non-state actors. In this regard, we stress the importance of international cooperation against terrorist and criminal use of ICTs and therefore reiterate the need to develop a universal regulatory binding instrument on combatting the criminal use of ICTs within the UN. We acknowledge the progress made in promoting cooperation according to the BRICS Roadmap of Practical Cooperation on Ensuring Security in the Use of ICTs or any other mutually agreed mechanism. We also acknowledge the importance to establish a framework of cooperation among BRICS member States on ensuring security in the Use of ICTs and, in this regard, BRICS member States will work towards consideration and elaboration of a BRICS intergovernmental agreement on cooperation on this matter.


  • We reaffirm our commitment to collective efforts for peaceful settlement of disputes through political and diplomatic means, and recognise the role of the UN Security Council as bearing the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security.
  • We express our concern over the ongoing conflict and heightened tensions in the Middle-East region and our conviction that there is no place for unlawful resorting to force or external interference in any conflict and that, ultimately, lasting peace can only be established through broad-based, inclusive national dialogue with due respect for the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of each of the countries of the region. We agree that, in each of the countries in the region, citizens have legitimate aspirations to fully enjoy civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and fundamental freedoms, especially with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian situation.
  • We agree that the conflicts elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa should not be used to delay resolution of long-standing conflicts, in particular the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. We reiterate the need for renewed diplomatic efforts to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid Principles, the Arab Peace Initiative and previous agreements between the parties, through negotiations with a view to creating an independent, viable, territorially contiguous Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel. We reiterate that the status of Jerusalem is one of the final status issues to be defined in the context of negotiations between Israel and Palestine. With regard to the situation in Gaza, we reiterate our support to the UN General Assembly Resolution (A/RES/ES-10/20) on the protection of the Palestinian population and call for its full implementation.
  • We reiterate our support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). We commend its vital role in providing health, education and other basic services for almost 5.3 million Palestinian refugees and underscore its relevance to bringing stability to the region and the need for ensuring a more adequate, sufficient, predictable and sustained funding for the Agency.
  • The ongoing conflict and major humanitarian crisis in the Republic of Yemen are also causes for further concern. We call for unhindered access for the provision of humanitarian assistance to all parts of Yemen and urge the international community to expeditiously provide the necessary assistance. We urge all parties to fully respect international law, to cease hostilities and to return to the UN brokered peace talks, leading to an inclusive Yemeni-led dialogue towards the achievement of a political solution to the conflict.
  • We also call on all parties directly involved in the current diplomatic crisis in the Gulf region to overcome their dissensions through dialogue and welcome the efforts of Kuwait in this regard.
  • We reaffirm our support for the process of an "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned'' national peace and reconciliation process. We express our concern over the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan particularly the increase in the number and intensity of terrorist-related attacks on the Afghan National Security Forces, the Government and civilians. We call on the international community to assist the government and the people of Afghanistan with the objective of working towards the realisation of peace. We also welcome the Parliamentary elections that are scheduled to be held in October 2018 and the Presidential elections in 2019.
  • We reaffirm our commitment for a political resolution of the conflict in Syria, through an inclusive "Syrian-led, Syrian-owned" political process that safeguards the state sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria, in pursuance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015) and taking into account the result of the Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi. We reiterate our support for the Geneva process and the mediation offered by the UN, as well as the Astana process which has been showing signs of positive developments on the ground, and stress the complementarity between the two initiatives. We reaffirm our commitment to a peaceful resolution in Syria and our opposition to measures that run contrary to the UN Charter and the authority of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and that do not contribute to advancing the political process. We also highlighted the importance of unity in the fight against terrorist organisations in Syria in full observance of the relevant UNSC Resolutions. We reiterate our strong condemnation of the use of chemical weapons by any party, for any purpose and under any circumstances and renew calls for comprehensive, objective, independent, and transparent investigations of all alleged incidents. We call for enhanced efforts to provide necessary humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people, bearing in mind urgent reconstruction needs.
  • Recalling the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear programme we call upon all parties to fully comply with their obligations and ensure full and effective implementation of the JCPOA to promote international and regional peace and security.
  • We welcome recent developments to achieve the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and maintain peace and stability in North East Asia. We reaffirm the commitment for a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation.
  • We express our serious concern about the possibility of an arms race in outer space and of outer space turning into an arena for military confrontation. We reaffirm that the prevention of an arms race, including of the placement of weapons in outer space, would avert a grave danger for international peace and security. We emphasise the paramount importance of strict compliance with the existing legal regime providing for the peaceful use of outer space. We also reaffirm that there is a need to consolidate and reinforce this regime. We welcome the newly established Group of Governmental Experts to discuss possible elements for a legally binding instrument on the prevention of an arms race in outer space including inter alia, on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space. We stress that practical transparency and confidence building measures may also contribute towards non-placement of weapons in outer space. We reiterate that the Conference on Disarmament, as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, has the primary role in the negotiation of a multilateral agreement or agreements, as appropriate, on the prevention of an arms race in outer space in all its aspects.
  • We welcome South Africa's hosting of the Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations in Pretoria on 4 June 2018. The Ministers exchanged views on major global political, security, economic and financial issues of common concern and on strengthening BRICS cooperation. We look forward to the forthcoming Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations on the margins of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
  • We welcome the 8th Meeting of the BRICS High Representatives for Security held on 28 and 29 June 2018 in Durban, and commend them for enriching BRICS' dialogue on the global security environment, counter-terrorism, security in the use of ICTs, major international and regional hotspots, transnational organised crime, peacekeeping, as well as the linkage between national security and development issues.
  • We emphasise the important role of United Nations peacekeeping to international peace and security, and the contribution of BRICS countries in this regard. We recognise the need for BRICS countries to further enhance mutual communication and cooperation on peacekeeping matters at the United Nations and the South African initiative for a BRICS working group on peacekeeping in this regard.
  • We commend the African Union for its efforts aimed at resolving and managing conflicts on the continent and welcome the strengthening of the cooperation between the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council. We commend the African Union's commitment to the "Silencing of the Guns by 2020" and support efforts to strengthen the African Peace and Security Architecture.


  • We welcome that the global economy has continued to improve, while noting that growth has been less synchronised and that downside risks still remain. This is reflected in a variety of challenges including rising trade conflicts, geopolitical risks, commodity price volatility, high private and public indebtedness, inequality and not sufficiently inclusive growth. We understand the critical importance of ensuring that the benefits from growth are shared in a more inclusive manner. We further stress the importance of a favourable external environment for sustained growth of global trade.
  • BRICS economies continue to support global economic expansion and outlook. We advocate continued use of fiscal, monetary and structural policies in concert, to forge strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. We express concern at the spill-over effects of macro-economic policy measures in some major advanced economies that may cause economic and financial volatility in emerging economies and impact their growth prospects adversely. We call on major advanced and emerging market economies to continue policy dialogue and coordination in the context of the G20, FSB and other fora to address these potential risks.
  • Recalling the Johannesburg Summit's focus on the 4th Industrial Revolution and the outcomes of the BRICS Meetings of Science and Technology and Industry Ministers, we commend the establishment of the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR). To commence the full operationalisation of PartNIR, an Advisory Group will be set up, comprising of respective representatives of BRICS Ministries of Industry, in consultation with appropriate Ministries, to develop, as a first step, the Terms of Reference and a Work Plan aligned with the 4th Industrial Revolution priorities, to be submitted to the BRICS Chair. The PartNIR aims at deepening BRICS cooperation in digitalisation, industrialisation, innovation, inclusiveness and investment, to maximise the opportunities and address the challenges arising from the 4th Industrial Revolution. It should enhance comparative advantages, boost economic growth, promote economic transformation of BRICS countries, strengthen sustainable industrial production capacity, create networks of science parks and technology business incubators, and support small and medium-sized enterprises in technology intensive areas. We believe that the initiative to establish the BRICS Networks of Science Parks, Technology Business Incubators and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises is a promising step in that direction.
  • We recognise the critical and positive role the internet plays globally in promoting economic, social and cultural development. In this regard, we commit to continue to work together through the existing mechanisms to contribute to the secure, open, peaceful, cooperative and orderly use of ICTs on the basis of participation by all states on an equal footing in the evolution and functioning of the internet and its governance, bearing in mind the need to involve the relevant stakeholders in their respective roles and responsibilities.
  • We recognise the importance of BRICS scientific, technical, innovation and entrepreneurship cooperation for sustainable development and to enhance inclusive growth. We welcome the dynamic development of BRICS cooperation in science, technology and innovation and attach special importance to the advancement of our joint work in this area. We affirm the value of implementing coordinated BRICS scientific projects aimed at promoting BRICS science, technology and innovation potential as a contribution to our combined efforts in addressing the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
  • We commend the progress of ongoing BRICS IPR cooperation. We recognise the importance of the development and transfer of technologies, including to developing countries, contributing to long-term sustainable and balanced global growth, and in this regard stress the importance of strengthening cooperation in intellectual property rights which contributes to innovation and the advent of new technologies to the benefit of society as a whole.
  • We are convinced that trade and technology are vital sources of inclusive growth, including through economic integration and consolidation of global value chains in sustainable and equitable ways. Technological progress will have wide ranging implications for production of goods and services as well as incomes of people. Appropriate policies and measures need to be taken to ensure that the developing countries benefit from the advantages of technological progress and do not suffer from lack of its early adoption. It is essential to develop effective policies to bridge the digital divides, including through supporting people to learn and by adopting new technologies and ensure effective mechanisms for transfer of relevant technologies.
  • We strongly acknowledge that skills development is critical to addressing the emerging mismatch between the new skills demanded by an increasingly technology-and knowledge-driven global economy and the older skill set of many workers. The pace, scale and scope of present-day economic change make it that more challenging. In this regard, we support measures including policy recommendations proposed in the G20 Initiative to Promote Quality Apprenticeship and the BRICS Action Plan for Poverty Alleviation and Reduction through Skills, to further facilitate vocational training, lifelong learning and the training that is relevant to the fast-changing demand of growing economies and world of work.
  • We reaffirm the centrality of the rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trading system, as embodied in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), that promotes a predictable trade environment and the centrality of the WTO, and recognise the importance of the development dimension, and will make all efforts to strengthen the multilateral trading system.
  • We recognise that the multilateral trading system is facing unprecedented challenges. We underscore the importance of an open world economy, enabling all countries and peoples to share the benefits of globalisation, which should be inclusive and support sustainable development and prosperity of all countries. We call on all WTO members to abide by WTO rules and honour their commitments in the multilateral trading system.
  • We recall that the WTO Dispute Settlement System is a cornerstone of the multilateral trading system and is designed to enhance security and predictability in international trade. We note with concern the impasse in the selection process for new Appellate Body Members that can paralyse the dispute settlement system and undermine the rights and obligations of all Members. We, therefore, urge all Members to engage constructively to address this challenge as a matter of priority.
  • We acknowledge the need to upkeep WTO's negotiating function. We, therefore, agree to constructively engage in further developing the current legal framework of the multilateral trading system within the WTO, taking into consideration the concerns and interests of all WTO members, including in particular the developing members.
  • We acknowledge the importance of infrastructure development and connectivity in Africa and recognise the strides made by the African Union to identify and address the continent's infrastructure challenges, inter alia, through the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). We support the importance of stimulating infrastructure investment on the basis of mutual benefit to support industrial development, job-creation, skills development, food and nutrition security and poverty eradication and sustainable development in Africa. We therefore reaffirm our support for sustainable infrastructure development in Africa, including addressing the infrastructure financing deficit.
  • Keenly aware of the need for Africa's industrialisation and the realisation of the African Union's Agenda 2063, we commend African countries and the African Union on the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The AfCFTA is an important step to economic integration on the continent and the unlocking of the tremendous potential of intra-African trade and in addressing its socio-economic challenges. In this regard, we reiterate our support for Agenda 2063 and efforts to promote continental integration and development.
  • We advocate for a strong Global Financial Safety Net with an adequately resourced, quota-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) at its centre. To this effect, we reaffirm our commitment to conclude the IMF's 15th General Review of Quotas, including a new quota formula while protecting the voice of the poorest countries by the 2019 Spring Meetings and no later than the 2019 Annual Meetings. Governance reform of the IMF should strengthen the voice and representation of the poorest members of the IMF, including Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • We welcome and congratulate Governor Lesetja Kganyago of the South African Reserve Bank on his appointment as the Chair of the International Monetary and Financial Committee.
  • We note the steps undertaken on strengthening and ensuring the operational readiness of the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) and welcome the completion of a successful test run of the de-linked portion of the CRA mechanism. We encourage cooperation between the CRA and the IMF.
  • We note with satisfaction the progress achieved on establishing the BRICS Local Currency Bond Fund, and look forward to starting its operation.
  • We agree to further strengthen cooperation on convergence of accounting standards and auditing oversight of BRICS countries in the area of bond issuance, and to further cooperation in these areas.
  • We welcome the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Collaborative Research on Distributed Ledger and Blockchain Technology in the Context of the Development of the Digital Economy. We believe that this work will contribute to our cooperation in adapting to the evolving internet economy.
  • Infrastructure, investment and international development assistance projects are the bedrock for sustainable economic development and growth; boosting productivity and enhancing integration. We stress the significance of infrastructure development and integration to foster closer economic ties.
  • We underscore the role that Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), in particular, the New Development Bank (NDB), are playing in catalysing private sector financing for public infrastructure and investment.
  • We draw satisfaction from the progress made by the NDB in providing resources to contribute to the social, economic and environmental prospects of our countries and expect the Project Preparation Fund to be put into operation soon. We welcome the upcoming establishment of the Americas Regional Office in São Paulo, Brazil, which, alongside the Africa Regional Centre, will help the NDB consolidate its presence in those continents. We note the NDB's Board of Governors' discussions on Innovative Approaches for Development Finance at its 3rd Annual Meeting on 28-29 May in Shanghai, China, that deliberated on the NDB's future development in the changing global environment.
  • We stress the importance of enhancing BRICS financial cooperation to better serve the real economy and meet the development needs of BRICS countries. In the regard, we reaffirm our commitment to facilitate financial market integration through promoting the network of financial institutions and the coverage of financial services within BRICS countries, subject to each country's existing regulatory framework and WTO GATS obligations, and to ensure greater communication and cooperation between financial sector regulators. We will continue to enhance currency cooperation, consistent with each central bank's legal mandate, and to explore more modalities of the cooperation. We will also further expand green financing, so as to promote sustainable development in BRICS countries.
  • We reaffirm our commitment to support international cooperation in combating illicit financial flows, including cooperation within Financial Actions Task Force (FATF) and World Customs Organisation. In this regard, we underscore the importance of increasing mutual exchanges and data sharing. We emphasise the importance of upholding and supporting the objectives of FATF and to intensify our cooperation to implement and improve its Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation in FATF.
  • Corruption remains a global challenge with long-lasting impact, including the undermining of legal systems of states. It also presents a threat to economic growth by discouraging the necessary local and foreign investment in a country. We reaffirm our commitment to international cooperation as envisaged in Chapter IV of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. In that context, we commit to strengthening international cooperation within the context of the BRICS Working Group on Anticorruption Cooperation. Subject to our domestic legal systems we will cooperate in anti-corruption law enforcement, extradition of fugitives, economic and corruption offenders and repatriation in matters relating to assets recovery and other related criminal and non-criminal matters involving corruption and call on the International community to deny safe haven to corrupt persons and proceeds of corruption. We regard experience sharing and exchange as key to increasing mutual understanding and enhancing BRICS anti-corruption cooperation and will continue our efforts in this aspect as we have done in previous years. We will further offer each other support in the implementation of the UNCAC by creating platforms for exchanging information and exploring convergences in multi-lateral platforms. We commend the African Union on choosing 2018 as the year of combating corruption.
  • In operationalising the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, we welcome the positive outcomes of the 8th BRICS Trade Ministers Meeting as supported by the ongoing activities of the BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI). We also welcome the good progress made in the implementation of the BRICS Action Agenda on Economic and Trade Cooperation. We encourage measures that support greater participation, value addition and upward mobility in Global Value Chains for our firms, particularly in industry and agriculture, especially Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), including through the preservation of policy space to promote industrial development. In recognising the importance of increased value-added trade amongst BRICS countries, we commend the Ministers of Trade for reconvening CGETI's Trade Promotion Working Group as well as the BRICS E-Commerce Working Group. We welcome the commissioning of the review of the BRICS Joint Trade Study on promoting intra-BRICS Value Added Trade. We welcome the positive outcomes of the 8th BRICS Trade Ministers Meeting on cooperation on the IPR, e-commerce, trade in service, and further enhancement of cooperation in E-commerce, on standards and technical regulations, MSMEs and model e-port.
  • We welcome the signing of the BRICS Memorandum of Understanding on Regional Aviation. We believe it is an important milestone in strengthening BRICS cooperation in the fields of connectivity and infrastructure.
  • We appreciate the outcomes of cooperation between BRICS Customs Administrations in implementing the Strategic Framework of BRICS Customs Cooperation, and welcome its long-term objectives, including the early conclusion and entry into force of the BRICS Customs Mutual Administrative Assistance Agreement so that the BRICS Authorised Economic Operator Programme is functional by the end of 2022, including mutual recognition of controls and economic operators. In this regard, we further welcome the BRICS Customs Action Plan, which identifies actions that will be taken collectively by the BRICS Customs Administrations in the short, medium and long term to achieve the stated goals and the establishment of BRICS Custom Training Centres. We recognise the potential of the BRICS Customs Cooperation Committee and call for enhanced intra-BRICS cooperation and at relevant multilateral fora, including in trade facilitation, law enforcement, use of advanced information technologies and capacity building.
  • We acknowledge the continued support provided by the BRICS Revenue Authorities for all the international initiatives towards reaching a globally fair and universally transparent tax system. We will continue our commitment to deal with the implications of the digital economy and, within that context, to ensure the fairness of the international tax system particularly towards the prevention of base erosion and shifting of profits, exchange of tax information, both on request and automatically, and needs-based capacity building for developing countries. We commit to deepen exchanges, sharing of experiences, best practices, mutual learning and exchanges of personnel in taxation matters. We welcome the establishment of the Capacity Building Mechanism between BRICS Revenue Authorities.
  • We acknowledge the contributions of the BRICS Business Council and its 5th Annual Report, as well as of the BRICS Business Forum, to enhancing trade and business cooperation in infrastructure, manufacturing, energy, agribusiness, financial services, regional aviation, alignment of technical standards and skills development. We welcome the establishment of Digital Economy Working Group within the framework of BRICS Business Council.
  • Recognizing tourism's great potential to contribute to sustainable economic and social development, we welcome the initiative to establish a BRICS Working Group on Tourism, to foster greater cooperation between the BRICS countries and increase economic development and people-to-people relations. The BRICS Tourism work stream will exchange knowledge, experience and best practices in the areas of travel trade, air connectivity, tourism infrastructure, culture and medical tourism, barriers to tourism marketing, tourism safety and support - financial, insurance and medical. We note with satisfaction that Intra-BRICS Tourism has grown despite the global economic downturn.

  • Emphasising the centrality of people in BRICS and its programmes, we commend the steady progress and exchanges in the fields of sports, youth, films, culture, education and tourism.
  • We reaffirm our commitment to a people-centred approach to development that is inclusive of all sectors of our people.
  • We acknowledge the 8th World Water Forum held in Brasilia, the world's major water-related event, held in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time, which contributed to establishing water as a priority at the global level.
  • We stress the importance for the BRICS countries to cooperate in matters related to outer space and we confirm our support to strengthening current initiatives in this field.
  • We commit to strengthening the coordination and cooperation on vaccine research and development within BRICS countries, and welcome the proposal to establish a BRICS vaccine research and development centre.
  • We welcome the 1st WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending Tuberculosis in the Sustainable Development Era: A Multisectoral response, in Moscow in 2017, and the resulting Moscow declaration to End TB and stressed the importance of the upcoming 1st High-Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on Ending Tuberculosis and the 3rd High-Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of non-communicable diseases, to be held in September 2018.
  • We recognise the importance and role of culture as one of the drivers of the 4th Industrial Revolution and acknowledge the economic opportunities that it presents.
  • We commend the organisation of the 3rd BRICS Film Festival and recognise the need to further deepen cooperation in this field. We acknowledge South Africa's proposal regarding a draft BRICS Treaty on Co-Production of Films to further promote cooperation in this sphere and to showcase the diversity of BRICS cultures.
  • We emphasise the guiding role of the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Agreement between the Governments of the BRICS States on Cooperation in the Field of Culture (2017-2021) for creative and sustainable cultural cooperation, and we note the various ongoing activities and initiatives of the BRICS culture experts.
  • We acknowledge the 2nd BRICS Seminar on Governance 2018 in Johannesburg, while recognising the intention of Brazil to hold the 3rd meeting in 2019 with greater and more diverse participation of academia and thinktanks of all BRICS countries.
  • We acknowledge with satisfaction the progress made towards strengthening cooperation and interaction amongst our people, through exchanges including the Think-Tank Council, the Academic Forum, the Civil BRICS Forum, the Young Diplomats Forum, the Youth Summit and the Young Scientists Forum.
  • We acknowledge the South African initiative regarding a BRICS Foreign Affairs Spokespersons Engagement.
  • We welcome the successful hosting of the 3rd BRICS Games by South Africa and we further note the progress that has been made in establishing the BRICS Sports Council.
  • Emphasising the importance of BRICS parliamentary exchanges, including of Women Parliamentarians, we look forward to further strengthening of BRICS exchanges in this regard.
  • Emphasising the role played by women in promoting inclusive development, we note the work being done to consider the establishment of the BRICS Women's Forum and the BRICS Women's Business Alliance.
  • Brazil, Russia, India, and China commend South Africa's BRICS Chairship in 2018 and express their sincere gratitude to the Government and people of South Africa for hosting the 10th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg.
  • Russia, India, China and South Africa extend full support to Brazil for its BRICS Chairship in 2019 and the hosting of the 11th BRICS Summit.

The 10th BRICS Summit – 25 to 27 July (Johannesburg)

We take note of the outcomes of the following meetings held under South Africa's BRICS Chairship leading up to the Johannesburg Summit:


  • Meeting of BRICS Finance Deputies – 17 to 20 March (Buenos Aires)
  • Meeting of the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors – 18 to 20 April (Washington, DC)
  • Meeting of BRICS Finance Deputies – 18 to 20 April (Washington, DC)
  • Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Environmental Affairs – 18 May (Durban)
  • Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations – 4 June (Pretoria)
  • Meeting of BRICS Head of Revenue Authorities – 18 to 21 June 2018 (Johannesburg)
  • 8th Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development – 19 to 22 June (Mpumalanga)
  • 8th Meeting of National Security Advisors - 28 to 29 June 2018 (Durban)
  • BRICS Energy Ministers - 28 to 29 June (Gauteng)
  • Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Disaster Management - 29 June to 1 July (East London)
  • 6th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Science, Technology and Innovation - 3 July (Durban)
  • 3rd Meeting of BRICS Industry Ministers - 4 July (Gauteng)
  • 8th Meeting of BRICS Trade Ministers - 5 July (Magaliesburg)
  • Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education - 10 July (Cape Town)
  • Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors – 19 to 22 July (Argentina)
  • 8th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Health - 20 July (Durban)

  • First Meeting of the BRICS Sherpas and Sous-Sherpas – 4 to 6 February (Cape Town)
  • First Meeting of the BRICS Anti-Corruption Working Group - 26 February (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • 17th Meeting of the Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI) – 28 February to 2 March (Johannesburg)
  • 9th Technical National Statistics Offices of the BRICS Offices – 13 to 15 March (Pretoria)
  • Meeting of BRICS Bond Fund (BBF) Working Group – 17 to 20 March (Buenos Aires)
  • Meeting of Customs Experts – 16 to 17 April (Durban)
  • 2nd Meeting of the Customs Cooperation Committee – 18 to 19 April (Durban)
  • Meeting of BBF Working Group and BRICS CRA Standing Committee – 18 to 20 April (Washington, DC USA)
  • Counter-Terrorism Working Group – 19 to 20 April (White River, Nelspruit)
  • Second Meeting of the BRICS Sherpas/Sous-Sherpas – 24 to 26 April (Bela Bela, Limpopo)
  • First Labour & Employment Working Group (EWG) Meeting – 7 to 10 May (Mpumalanga)
  • Second Meeting of the BRICS Intellectual Property Rights Cooperation Mechanism – 10 May (East London)
  • Second Meeting of the BRICS E-commerce Working Group – 10 May (East London)
  • First Meeting of the BRICS Trade Promotion Working Group – 10 May (East London)
  • Meeting of Technical Experts in Technical Regulations, Standards, Conformity Assessment, Metrology and Accreditation – 10 May (East London)
  • Workshop on Trade in Services Statistics – 10 May (East London)
  • 18th Meeting of the Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI) – 11 to 12 May (East London)
  • Meeting of the BRICS Environmental Affairs Working Group Meeting – 14 to 16 May (Pretoria)
  • Security in the use of ICTs Working Group – 16 to 17 May (Cape Town)
  • Meeting of the BRICS Senior Officials Environmental Affairs – 17 May (Durban)
  • Meeting of BRICS Energy Efficiency & Energy Saving Working Group – 17 to 18 May (Cape Town)
  • Meeting of the BRICS Think-Tank Council (BTTC) - 28 May (Parktown)
  • BRICS Academic Forum – 28 to 31 May (Johannesburg)
  • Meeting of the Quality Infrastructure (Standards, Accreditation and Metrology bodies) - 16 May (Gauteng)
  • BRICS Meeting on Health on the margins of World Health Assembly – May (Geneva, Switzerland)
  • 3rd BRICS Sherpa/Sous-Sherpa Meeting – 2 to 3 June (Pretoria)
  • Meeting of Experts on Tax Matters – 18 to 19 June (Cape Town)
  • 4th Meeting of Senior Officials/Experts on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – 19 June (Pretoria)
  • 8th Meeting of the Agriculture Cooperation Working Group – 20 June (Nelspruit)
  • Agricultural Field Visits – 22 June
  • Meeting of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) – 25 to 26 June (Johannesburg)
  • Civil BRICS – 25 to 27 June (Parktown, Johannesburg)
  • 3rd Meeting of the Customs Cooperation Committee – 26 June (Brussels, Belgium)
  • 2nd Meeting of the BRICS Anti-Corruption Working Group – 26 June (Paris, France)
  • 4th Young Diplomats Forum – 25 to 29 June (Pretoria)
  • 3rd BRICS Young Scientists Forum – 25 to 29 June (Durban ICC)
  • BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Government Cooperation Forum – 28 to 29 June (East London)
  • 4th BRICS STI Working Group Meeting of Funding Parties – 30 June (Durban)
  • 8th BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) - 2 July (Durban)
  • 3rd Meeting of Industry Experts - 3 July (Magaliesburg)
  • 2nd BRICS Seminar on Governance, 3 to 4 July (Johannesburg)
  • 19th Meeting of the Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI) – 2 to 4 July (Gauteng)
  • BRICS Network University Conference – 5 to 7 July (Stellenbosch)
  • Meeting of BRICS Senior Officials on Education – 9 July (Cape Town)
  • ICTI – International Conference on Transport Infrastructure – 9 to 10 July (Pretoria)
  • 4th BRICS Youth Summit – 16 to 21 July (Bloemfontein, Free State)
  • 3rd BRICS Games – 17 to 22 July (Johannesburg)
  • Meeting of the BRICS Health Senior Officials – 18 to 19 July (Durban)
  • BBF Working Group Meeting and BRICS CRA Standing Committee Meeting – 19 to 22 July (Argentina)
  • Annual Meeting of the BRICS Business Council – 22 to 23 July Durban
  • 3rd BRICS Film Festival 2018 – 22 to 28 July (Durban)
  • 4th BRICS Sherpa/Sous-Sherpa Meeting – 20 to 24 July (Johannesburg)
  • BRICS Business Council Energy Forum – 24 July (Johannesburg)
  • BRICS Business Forum - 25 July (Sandton)
  • Annual Meeting of the BRICS ICM Chairmen – 25 to 26 July (Cape Town)
  • BRICS Financial Forum – 25 to 26 July (Cape Town)

Informal Meeting of the BRICS Leaders (Buenos Aires, Argentina)


  • BRICS Sports Council of Ministers Meeting
  • Meeting for BRICS Ministers for Labour & Employment (LEMM) (Durban)
  • 4th BRICS Ministers of Communications Meeting (Durban)
  • Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs/International Relations (New York, USA)
  • Meeting of BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors
  • BRICS Tourism Senior Officials meeting (Gauteng)

  • Second Labour & Employment Working Group (EWG) Meeting (Durban)
  • BRICS TB Research Network (Durban)
  • 3rd BRICS Media Forum
  • 3rd BRICS Working Group on Cooperation in ICT
  • BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Women's Forum (Pretoria)
  • Agri-business Roadshow
  • BRICS Conference on Development Finance in Africa (Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth)
  • BRICS Legal Forum (Cape Town)
  • Meeting of the BRICS Culture Senior Officials
  • BRICS Cultural Festival (Various Cities)
  • Meetings of the BRICS Working Groups (Competition)
  • Meeting of Heads of Competition Authorities (Pretoria)
  • 3rd BRICS SoE Forum on Governance and Reform (Durban)
  • 4th Business to Business (Industry Dialogue) Meeting (Durban)
  • 3rd Working Group on ICT Cooperation (Senior Officials) Meeting (Durban)
  • 5th Meeting of BRICS Sherpas/Sous Sherpas (New York, USA)
  • 2nd BRICS Skills Competition (Johannesburg)
  • BRICS CRA Governing Council Meeting and BRICS BF Working Group Meeting (Bali, Indonesia)
  • 2nd BRICS STI Working Group Meeting on Biomed and Biotechnology (Cape Town)
  • 3rd BRICS Ministers of Culture Meeting 2018 (Durban)
  • 4th Round of the BRICS Policy Planning Consultations
  • 3rd Meeting of the BRICS Working Group on Geospatial Sciences and its Applications (Pretoria)
  • 3rd Meeting of the BRICS Working Group on Prevention and Monitoring of Natural Disasters (Pretoria)
  • BRICS National Statistical Office Meeting
  • BRICS Space Agencies Forum (Pretoria)
  • BRICS Astronomy Conference (Sutherland: SALT – Southern African Large Telescope)
  • 6th Meeting of BRICS Sherpas/Sous-Sherpas (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • BRICS STI Brokerage Event
  • BRICS Science Academies Dialogue (Johannesburg)
  • 3rd BRICS Water Forum (Pretoria)
  • BRICS STI Advisory Councils Roundtable (Pretoria)
  • BRICS STI Technology Transfer and SMME Forum (Pretoria)
  • 7th Meeting of BRICS Sherpas/Sous-Sherpas
  • BRICS Meeting of Officials and Experts on Population Matters (Pilanesberg, Rustenburg)
Statement by H.E. President Cyril Ramaphosa on the occasion of the Post-10th BRICS Summit Media Briefing, 27 July 2018, Sandton, Johannesburg (Заявление г-на Президента Сирила Рамафозы по случаю 10-го брифинга на саммите БРИКС, 27 июля 2018 года, Сандтон, Йоханнесбург) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: Cyril_Ramaphosa, summit, media
South Africa

Statement by H.E. President Cyril Ramaphosa on the occasion of the Post-10th BRICS Summit Media Briefing, 27 July 2018, Sandton, Johannesburg

We have just completed a successful 10th BRICS Summit that was held from 25 to 27 July 2018 in Sandton, South Africa, hosted by H.E. President Cyril Ramaphosa under the theme: "BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution." It was attended by the Heads of State and Government of South Africa, Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICS), Rwanda, Ethiopia, Angola, Zambia, Namibia, Senegal, Gabon, Togo, Uganda, Jamaica, Argentina, Turkey, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

The BRICS Summit took place during a period when we are commemorating the centenary of the birth of two of South Africa's struggle icons, Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu. The values they represent served as an inspiration for our discussion on key issues affecting the international community, as well as the rich discussion with our outreach partners.

The agenda of the BRICS Summit was extensive, which is a direct reflection of the diversity and depth of interaction between the five countries. We discussed issues of mutual concern aimed at achieving development, economic growth and prosperity, as well as peace and security. We acknowledged that we have travelled a remarkable path over the course of the last ten years and we remain committed to growing our economies and improving the lives of our peoples. We also highlighted our commitment to building responsive, inclusive and collective solutions to the world's economic challenges, including poverty, inequality and unemployment.

The BRICS countries are firmly in agreement on the need to safeguard and strengthen multilateralism. In this regard, we support the centrality of the United Nations, as the universal multilateral organisation entrusted with the mandate for maintaining international peace and security, advancing global development and promoting and protecting human rights, so as to build a brighter shared future for the global community.

We reiterated in our discussions the strengthening of multilateral institutions of global governance and the need for comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including the Security Council. We affirmed our commitment to the World Trade Organisation to ensure a rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trading system.

We are committed to the full implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals to ensure equitable, inclusive, open, all-round, innovation-driven and sustainable development. We emphasise that the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – should be addressed in a balanced and integrated manner. We furthermore discussed the importance of strengthening our cooperation to deal with the challenges brought about by climate change and assure the world of our commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

In respect of global security matters, we noted, with concern, the challenges and threats faced by the international community and committed to enhance communication and cooperation amongst BRICS countries in international fora. In this regard, we also highlighted the need for BRICS countries to enhance cooperation on peacekeeping matters.

It was evident from our discussions that we stand united in our condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, wherever committed and by whomsoever. In this regard, we are committed to countering terrorism in accordance with the principles of international law.

We received a positive report from the BRICS Business Council on their activities since September 2017 and we commend them and the BRICS Business Forum for their collective efforts toward strengthening economic cooperation in infrastructure, manufacturing, energy, agriculture, financial services, e-commerce, alignment of technical standards and skills development.

During our deliberations, we also reaffirmed our commitment to BRICS industrial cooperation, including on industrial capacities and policies, new industrial infrastructure and standards, as well as small, micro and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs).

We noted that the notion of the 4th Industrial Revolution sets us on a path to further development in key sectors of information technology and communication (ICT), digitisation and the growth of small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs). We therefore committed to jointly seize the myriad of opportunities presented by the 4th Industrial Revolution. While recognizing the potential positive impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution, we are also aware of the growth of the criminal misuse of ICTs and in this regard reiterated the need to develop an international universal legally binding instrument on combatting criminal use of ICTs within the UN.

In continuation of the BRICS tradition of Outreach first initiated by South Africa during its first tenure as BRICS Chair in 2013, the BRICS Leaders met with African Leaders, including the Chairpersons of the African Union (AU), of the NEPAD Head of States and Government of the recognized regional economic communities (RECs) and of the AU Commission, as well as with the SADC Leaders. Following the BRICS Plus initiative of China in 2017, we also met with Leaders of the Global South, namely Argentina as G20 Chair, Jamaica as CARICOM Chair and Turkey as Chair of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

In this regard, our discussions represented a continuation of the 2013 BRICS-Africa discussions, wherein BRICS pledged to support African development, industrialization and infrastructure development, as contained in the NEPAD programmes and the African Union's Agenda 2063. There was also discussion around the implementation of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the building of broad partnerships for development. The rationale behind this engagement is to create a platform for greater interaction and partnerships amongst countries of the Global South to shape the agenda to effect changes in the global economy, notably for (i) development and economic growth through trade and investment integration, and (ii) cooperation in global governance financial, economic and political institutions.

In seeking to improve the lives of our people, we endorsed the initiative of enhancing BRICS cooperation in health through the establishment of a BRICS Vaccine Centre, which is key in the promotion of research and development of medicines and diagnostic tools to end epidemics and to facilitate access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines.

Having recognised the potential, inherent in the tourism sector for all the BRICS countries, and the need to foster enhanced people-to-people relations amongst our five countries, we have endorsed the establishment of a BRICS Tourism Track within BRICS. The promotion of tourism is essential to addressing the triple challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty, which are common to all our countries. In this regard, we welcomed the establishment of the BRICS Tourism Track as it is key to fostering inclusive and sustainable development.

Women must play an integral role in society, and we dedicated ourselves to ensuring their full participation in the economy and society. The BRICS Members are in agreement on the important economic benefit to be derived from the socio-economic empowerment of women, particularly in developing countries. In support of this ideal, we agreed on the establishment of a BRICS Women's Forum.

The following agreements were signed during the course of the Summit:

  • Memorandum of Understanding on Collaborative Research on Distributed Ledger and Blockchain Technology in the Context of the Development of the Digital Economy;
  • Memorandum of Understanding on BRICS Regional Aviation Partnership; and
  • Agreement for Establishment of the Regional Office of the New Development Bank (NDB) for the Americas in the City of Sao Paulo, Brazil;
We concluded our deliberations with the adoption of the Johannesburg Declaration and Action Plan, which highlight the great strides that BRICS has made in terms of establishing institutional mechanisms for tangible cooperation. We look forward to strengthening our collaboration as we usher in the Second Decade of BRICS Strategic Cooperation.

Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the BRICS Business Forum, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, 25 July 2018 (Выступление президента Cирила Рамафозы на Бизнес-форуме БРИКС, Конференц-центр Сандтон, Йоханнесбург, 25 июля 2018 годаs) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: Cyril_Ramaphosa, speech, top_level_meeting
South Africa

Programme Director,
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Chairperson of the BRICS Business Council,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the BRICS Business Forum, which has become a vital platform for the development of economic cooperation between the BRICS member countries.

We welcome you to our shores just a week after the world marked the centenary of the birth of the father of our nation and a global icon, President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

We invoke his name here because the work we are here to do requires of us to build on the foundations Madiba laid for the advancement of democracy, world peace, human solidarity, international cooperation and mutual respect.

This year also marks a decade of BRICS collaboration, during which we have successfully shaped an ambitious agenda for development that recognises the great potential our countries possess for collective action.

Intra-BRICS cooperation has been gaining momentum in areas such as finance, agriculture, trade, combating transnational crime, science and technology, health, education, security and academic dialogue.

One of the most important achievements of the first decade of BRICS was the establishment of the New Development Bank, which fills a critical gap in project funding.

Since its formation, the bank has disbursed loans totalling $5.1 billion, with approvals amounting to $1.7 billion this year alone.

As we enter the second decade of BRICS cooperation, we are determined to expand the Bank's role in economic and social development.

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are meeting here at a time when the multilateral trading system is facing unprecedented challenges.

We are concerned by the rise in unilateral measures that are incompatible with World Trade Organization rules and are worried about the impact of these measures, especially on developing countries.

These developments call for thorough discussion on the role of trade in promoting sustainable development and inclusive growth.

The BRICS countries are increasingly recognised as an influential formation in reinforcing the principles of transparency, inclusiveness and compatibility within the multilateral trading system.

There is also much scope to expand the value of trade between BRICS countries.

As a country that is primarily an exporter of commodities to its BRICS partners, South Africa supports a shift towards complementary and value-added trade.

Linked to the trade agenda, we need to increase investment between BRICS countries, particularly in the productive sectors of our economy.

We also require a strategic roadmap regarding the opportunities presented by the fourth industrial revolution and the measures required to mitigate its disruptive effect on industry.

I am pleased that these are some of the areas under discussion in this Business Forum.

I look forward to the concrete proposals made by yourselves for the consideration of the Summit.

Equally important are your deliberations on BRICS-Africa cooperation.

As South Africa, we are determined that our engagements within BRICS and other multilateral platforms should advance the integration and development of the African continent.

There is great potential for investment in Africa.

In the past decade Africa has grown at a rate of 2 to 3 percentage points faster than the global GDP, with regional growth predicted to remain stable above 5 percent in 2018.

This growth will be supported by increasing foreign direct investment flows, public investment in infrastructure and higher agricultural production.

In addition to this, Africa's working age population is expected to double to 1 billion in the next 25 years.

More opportunities are presented by the agreement to establish the African Continental Free Trade Area, which provides access to a market of over 1 billion people and a combined GDP of over $3 trillion.

The value of this free trade area will only be fully realised through massive investment in infrastructure and skills development.

This presents opportunities for BRICS countries, some of whom have extensive experience in infrastructure development and are world leaders in education and skills development.

Distinguished Guests,

This Business Forum provides a platform to harness the benefits of globalisation and to also confront the challenges it presents, all within an ever-changing global political economy.

As South Africa, we have acknowledged that to effectively deal with poverty, unemployment and inequality, we need to significantly increase the level of investment in our economy to lift growth and create jobs.

We have embarked on an investment drive that has taken us to meet with investors in various parts of the world and which will culminate in an Investment Conference later in the year.

We are seeking to reinforce the strong bonds that we developed with our BRICS partners by expanding investment into the country.

We are building on the vast investment potential that South Africa possesses.

Our partners in BRICS are familiar with our world class transport and telecommunication infrastructure, a supportive operating environment and a sophisticated banking system.

We have been steadily improving the ease of doing business in the country, providing dedicated support to investors through Invest SA and developing an attractive package of incentives.

We are working to diversify our economy.

A wide range of investment opportunities are available in areas such as renewable energy, recycling, biofuels, water infrastructure, energy, mining and minerals beneficiation, agriculture and agro-processing, aquaculture, tourism, shipbuilding and repairs, business process outsourcing, advanced manufacturing, fuel cell production, aerospace and defence.

South Africa is determined to derive greater value from its abundant natural resources and to steadily advance up the value chain into knowledge-based sectors.

We are embracing new technologies and approaches that are merging the physical, digital and biological worlds.

We are committed to walking this path together with our BRICS partners.

It is imperative that we collectively navigate the risks and leverage the opportunities that arise from the new digital age.

There is much we can do together to develop appropriate regulatory frameworks, infrastructure and skills to support and enable the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our task is to give practical expression to an economic partnership that will catapult the industrialisation of our respective economies beyond the digital age.

While trade among the BRICS partners has expanded exponentially over the last 10 years, we need to advance to a new level of industrial cooperation.

Addressing the demands of both the present and the future requires the same unity of purpose that brought BRICS into existence and which has sustained it over the last decade.

We look to you, our distinguished business community, to be at the centre of our collective efforts to forge a new economic path.

We look to you to be ready to realise the vast potential that exists for investment and trade, and to be our partners in building inclusive economies that create shared prosperity.

I wish you every success in your deliberations.

I thank you.

Media Statement by the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on the 10th BRICS Summit, BRICS Media Centre, Sandton Convention Centre, Monday, 23 July 2018 (Заявление для СМИ Межминистерского комитета (ММК) о 10-м саммите БРИКС, Пресс-центр БРИКС, Конференц-центр Сандтона, понедельник, 23 июля 2018 года) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: summit, SA_chairmanship, top_level_meeting, speech
South Africa

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the media

The South African Government is privileged to be hosting the 10th BRICS Summit, starting on 25 July and ending on 27 July 2018. As you may be aware, South Africa, in its role as Chair of BRICS for the calendar year 2018, has chosen the theme: "BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution".

The dates of the Summit are segmented as follows:

  • BRICS Business Forum – Wednesday, 25 July 2018;
  • BRICS Leaders' meeting and Retreat – Thursday, 26 July 2018; and
  • BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS-Plus Initiative – Friday, 27 July 2018
The Inter-Ministerial Committee on BRICS, set up by President Cyril Ramaphosa, has been meeting ahead of the Summit, and concluded its last meeting today. The IMC is pleased with the level of preparation that has gone into the event. Many of our international guests are already in the country and have been having meetings since 19 July 2018.

We can confirm that the following BRICS Heads of State and Government will participate in the Summit:

  • His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and Chair of BRICS;
  • His Excellency Michel Temer, President of the Republic of Brazil,
  • His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China,
  • His Excellency Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, and
  • His Excellency Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation.
South Africa's foreign policy is based on our African history and identity. Whereas we are in BRICS in our own right as a sovereign state, participating on an equal footing with fellow BRICS members, we also use our membership to champion the interests of our continent, Africa.

Our theme for the Summit talks to the need to strengthen the relationship between BRICS and Africa. Accordingly, during the Summit, the BRICS leaders will have time – on the 27th of July 2018 – to interact with African leaders on how best we can bring about the "inclusive growth" and "shared prosperity" that the theme talks to. We can confirm that the following African leaders will participate in the BRICS-Africa Outreach:

  • His Excellency Dr. Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia,
  • His Excellency Ali BONGO ONDIMBA, President of the Republic of Gabon,
  • His Excellency João Manuel Lourenço, President of the Republic of Angola,
  • His Excellency Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal,
  • His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Republic of Uganda,
  • His Excellency Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, President of the Republic of Togo,
  • His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, and
  • We have also extended an invite to all SADC Heads of State and Government.
We are continuing with the BRICS practice initiated by our previous Chair, the People's Republic of China, to organise a BRICS-Plus Initiative. Through this initiative, BRICS aims to reach out to fellow developing and emerging market economies. In this respect, we have invited the leaders of the following countries and regional organisations who have accepted our invitation to participate in the Summit:

  • His Excellency Mauricio Macri, President of the Argentine Republic,
  • His Excellency Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey,
  • His Excellency Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of the Republic of Jamaica,
  • Dr Stergomena Lawrence Stergomena Tax, Executive Secretary of SADC,
  • Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, the Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD, and
  • Mr Kundapur Vaman Kamath, President of the New Development Bank.
The 10th BRICS Summit will be an important milestone as it represents a decade of BRICS cooperation. The Summit will culminate in the adoption of the "Johannesburg Declaration" which will include our joint commitments for the year ahead.

South Africa has proposed the following for adoption at the Summit:

1. Establishment of a Working Group on Peacekeeping;

2. Establishment of a Vaccine Research Centre for Collaboration with BRICS vaccine innovation and development partners – this is intended to be a physical research centre focused on research and development and vaccine innovation;

3. Establishment of a BRICS Gender and Women's Forum – intended as a dedicated track for gender and women's issues, given the economic benefit to be derived from the socio-economic empowerment of women, particularly in developing countries;

4. Leveraging the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership towards the pursuit of Inclusive Growth and Advancing the 4th Industrial Revolution – this is intended to foster discussions to address opportunities provided by the Fourth Industrial Revolution; and

5. Establishment of a BRICS Tourism Track of Cooperation.

We believe that these proposals will go a long way in consolidating cooperation amongst the BRICS partners as we enter the second decade of BRICS.

Although our leaders will focus much of their attention on intra-BRICS cooperation, they are also cognisant of the fact that BRICS exists within a broader global political and economic environment. With this understanding in mind, we expect that the leaders will review the political and security environment globally and express views accordingly. BRICS countries understand that inclusive socio-economic development cannot be achieved in a world that is insecure and unsafe.

As BRICS members, we understand that the United Nations remains the universal multilateral organisation entrusted with the mandate for maintaining international peace and security, advancing global development and promoting and protecting human rights.

South Africa will remain Chair of BRICS until 31 December 2018. The next Chair is the Republic of Brazil. For the remaining period of our tenure, we will tirelessly work with our partners to implement our decisions and deepen the level cooperation. Not only intra-governmentally but through other sectors, including business, civil society, youth, women, etc.

We have no doubt, given the support we have already enjoyed since becoming BRICS chair at the beginning of January 2018, that the Summit will be a success.


Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
New Development Bank to extend loans to Brics countries' private sector (Новый банк развития предоставит кредиты частному сектору стран БРИКС) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: ndb, investments
South Africa

he New Development Bank announced on Monday that it would begin to extend loans to the private sector in Brics countries as it enters another phase of its growth prospects.

The New Development Bank was established in 2014 following the sixth Brics Summit, with capitalisation from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.


Leslie Maasdorp, vice president and chief financial officer of the New Development Bank, said that the bank will now be working to expand its activities within the five countries in the Brics bloc in a bid to have a bigger impact.

"We are now looking at deepening that collaboration with the five countries to go beyond the distributional infrastructure work we have done so far. The most important part of our next phase would be to provide loans to the private sector. Before, we mainly provided loans to governments and to State-owned enterprises," Maasdorp said.


"Now we can provide loans to the private sector because the private sector can play a big role in stimulating investments. Also, we want to crowd in and bring more private sector investment, together with our funds, so we can have a bigger impact."

Maasdorp was speaking on the sidelines of the New Development Bank working breakfast during the Brics Business Council which ends on Monday in Durban.

He said that the bank already had strong capitalisation with US$10-billion of equity, adding that the cost of capital for the bank would be much cheaper and it would be able to offer loans at cheaper interest rates.

"We don't need more capital. We just now need anchorable projects, meaning projects that will have commercial returns, that are ready for funding, and be bankable for us to be able to fund them," Maasdorp said.

"We are not aiming to replace or substitute other financial institutions, we will work with them. But we will have a higher credit rating than all of the banks in South Africa because of the strong financial metrix of the bank, high capitalisation, very low leverage, very high liqiudity. We don't have an international credit rating yet, but I can guarantee you that our rating will be better than the local bank."

Maasdorp also said that the bank could easily lend up to between US$70-billion and US$80-billion in the next five years in South Africa.
10 years on: How has BRICS performed over the last decade? (10 лет спустя: Как БРИКС выполнял свою работу за последнее десятилетие?) / China, July, 2018
Keywords: expert_opinion

BRICS is an acronym for the economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and it has done much to influence the global economy and geopolitics.

Jim O'Neill, the economist who coined the BRICS phrase, believes that the group has performed better than even he had thought.

Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr., the vice president of the New Development Bank (NDB), also suggested past decade has showed the BRICS mechanism is "a working one."


The group has come a long way since its first meeting, which was held in 2009 due to the global financial crisis, and happened without South Africa, which joined in 2010.

In 2014, with a view to institutionalize their international economic cooperation, the five countries established the NDB and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) facility.

Last year in Xiamen, the bloc agreed to re-dedicate themselves to a second "golden decade" of partnership based on principles and aspirations that had originally bound them together a decade ago.


Along the way, the formation of the NDB was "one of the achievements of the BRICS," Lerato Mataboge, South Africa's director general in the Department of Trade and Industry, Trade and Investment, said.

Founded by the BRICS member states in 2014, the NDB opened in Shanghai in July 2015 and became fully operational in early 2016.

"The NDB has achieved significant progress since it launched business in Shanghai," Batista Jr. said, adding that "the bank has approved 11 projects, most of which are for sustainable infrastructure development."

Altogether, the bank has 23 projects which are in various stages of preparation for 2017-2018, with a total lending amount of six billion US dollars.

The chief of the NDB, K. V. Kamath, announced in May that the bank has approved projects worth 1.7 billion US dollars, and the target for the whole year stands at between four and 4.5 billion US dollars. That is on top of the 3.4 billion US dollars in projects approved by the bank since its inception.

Another economic gain

Also, the BRICS has made significant progress on the financial integration of its members.

Wang Jianzhou, China's consul-general in Durban, said BRICS had brought concrete benefit to the millions of people in the five member states.

"Over the past 10 years the BRICS total GDP has grown by 179 percent, trade expanded by 94 percent," he said in a panel discussion at the 10th BRICS round table discussion in Durban.

The rate of economic growth in the bloc has far outpaced the world's average – and the expectations of many, Jeremy Stevens, an economist with the South African Standard Bank, said at a BRICS economic forum in Beijing. From 2008 to 2017 the world's average growth rate was around one percent, but that of BRICS nations was expected to reach eight percent.

This optimism has been bolstered by statistics released by China's Ministry of Commerce, which showed that over the past 10 years, the BRICS increased its share of aggregate global economic value from 12 percent to 23 percent.

"Their trade volume rose from 11 percent to 16 percent of the world's total, contributing half of the world's growth," the source added.

Political achievement

Meanwhile, the BRICS mechanism has already proved its efficacy as a channel for improving multilateral orders.

Noting that only by discussing worldwide political issues with other countries on an equal basis can the group free itself from the multiple shackles, the BRICS has quickly shifted focus from mere economic cooperation to comprehensive participation in global governance.

"BRICS is the voice of the developing world, who are pursuing multilateralism and South-South cooperation," Petrus de Kock, South African marketing company Brand South Africa's general manager, said.

The bloc is speaking for all developing countries thus a dialogue pattern of "BRICS+N" has been established, which means whenever a BRICS summit takes place, a dialogue with leaders of regional developing countries will also be held.

For example, during the summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, a dialogue with the leaders of South American countries was held.

On the sideline of the Ufa summit in Russia, the BRICS leaders convened a dialogue with leaders from the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) member states and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) members and observer states.

And China upgraded "BRICS+N" to "BRICS+" at the Xiamen summit, that is, the dialogue held alongside the summit was not limited to regional developing countries, but instead covered representative developing countries around the globe, thus greatly expanding the circle of friends.

In this respect, the BRICS has shown global vision that stands out from both strategic and historical perspectives, thus winning respect from around the world.

BRICS and the Fiction of "De-Dollarization" (БРИКС и выдумка «Де-долларизации») / Canada, July, 2018
Keywords: research, economic_challenges
Author: Michel Chossudovsky

This week, leaders of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will be meeting in Johannesburg amidst an evolving trade war sponsored by the Trump administration. The venue will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, China's President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

To what extent will the BRICS countries respond to the wave of economic sanctions and trade measures. China has intimated its resolve to implement bilateral trade deals which bypass the dollar.

What is the nature of the BRICS project? How will it evolve in relation to the current trade environment?

Three out of the five BRICS member states are full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) including China, Russia and India.

Brazil and South Africa are heavily dollarized economies, with governments broadly committed to the tenets of neoliberalism. Both Brazil and South Africa are experiencing deap-seated political crises which in large part are attributable to US imperial policies.

Will the BRICS initiative be in a position to effectively challenge US dollar hegemony?

Global Research will covering the BRICS venue which will be dominated by debate concerning the US imposed trade restrictions.

The following background article first published by GR in April 2015 focusses on some of the inherent contradictions of the BRICS initiative, which still prevail today.

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, July 24, 2018

* * *

The financial media as well as segments of the alternative media are pointing to a possible weakening of the US dollar as a global trading currency resulting from the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) initiative.

One of the central arguments in this debate on competing World currencies hinges on the BRICS initiative to create a development bank which, according to analysts, challenges the hegemony of Wall Street and the Washington based Bretton Woods institutions.

The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) was set up to challenge two major Western-led giants – the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. NDB's key role will be to serve as a pool of currency for infrastructure projects within a group of five countries with major emerging national economies – Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa. (RT, October 9, 2015, emphasis added)

More recently, emphasis has been placed on the role of China's new Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which, according to media reports, threatens to "transfer global financial control from Wall Street and City of London to the new development banks and funds of Beijing and Shanghai".

There has been a lot of media hype regarding BRICS.
While the creation of BRICS has significant geopolitical implications, both the AIIB as well as the proposed BRICS Development Bank (NDB) and its Contingency Reserve Arrangement (CRA) are dollar denominated entities. Unless they are coupled with a multi-currency system of trade and credit, they do not threaten dollar hegemony. Quite the opposite, they tend to sustain and extend dollar denominated lending. Moreover, they replicate several features the Bretton Woods framework.

Towards a Multi-Currency Arrangement?

What is significant, however, from a geopolitical standpoint is that China and Russia are developing a ruble-yuan swap, negotiated between the Russian Central Bank, and the People's Bank of China,

The situation of the other three BRICS member states (Brazil, India, South Africa) with regard to the implementation of (real, rand rupiah) currency swaps is markedly different. These three highly indebted countries are in the straightjacket of IMF-World Bank conditionalities. They do not decide on fundamental issues of monetary policy and macro-economic reform without the green light from the Washington based international financial institutions.

Currency swaps between the BRICS central banks was put forth by Russia to:

"facilitate trade financing while completely bypassing the dollar. "At the same time, the new system will also act as a de facto replacement of the IMF, because it will allow the members of the alliance to direct resources to finance the weaker countries." (Voice of Russia)

While Russia has formally raised the issue of a multi-currency arrangement, the Development Bank's structure does not currently "officially" acknowledge such a framework:

"We are discussing with China and our BRICS parters the establishment of a system of multilateral swaps that will allow to transfer resources to one or another country, if needed. A part of the currency reserves can be directed to [the new system]" (Governor of the Russian Central Bank, June 2014, Prime news agency)

Currency Dictatorship. The Struggle to End US Dollar Hegemony
India, South Africa and Brazil have decided not to go along with a multiple currency arrangement, which would have allowed for the development of bilateral trade and investment activities between BRICs countries, operating outside the realm of dollar denominated credit. In fact they did not have the choice of making this decision in view of the strict loan conditionalities imposed by the IMF.

Heavily indebted under the brunt of their external creditors, all three countries are faithful pupils of the IMF-World Bank. The central bank of these countries is controlled by Wall Street and the IMF. For them to enter into a "non-dollar" or an "anti-dollar" development banking arrangement with multiple currencies, would have required prior approval of the IMF.

The Contingency Reserve Arrangement

The CRA is defined as a "framework for provision of support through liquidity and precautionary instruments in response to actual or potential short-term balance of payments pressures." (Russia India Report April 7, 2015). In this context, the CRA fund does not constitute a "safety net" for BRICS countries, it accepts the hegemony of the US dollar which is sustained by large scale speculative operations in the currency and commodity markets.

In essence the CRA operates in a similar fashion to an IMF precautionary loan arrangement (e.g. Brazil November 1998) with a view to enabling highly indebted countries to maintain the parity of their exchange rate to the US dollar, by replenishing central bank reserves through borrowed money.

The CRA excludes the policy option of foreign exchange controls by BRICS member states. In the case of India, Brazil and South Africa, this option is largely foreclosed as a result of their agreements with the IMF.

The dollar denominated $100 billion CRA fund is a "silver platter" for Western "institutional speculators" including JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Goldman Sachs et al, which are involved in short selling operations on the Forex market. Ultimately the CRA fund will finance the speculative onslaught in the currency market.

Neoliberalism firmly entrenched

An arrangement using national currencies instead of the US dollar requires sovereignty in central bank monetary policy. In many regards, India, Brazil and South Africa are (from the monetary standpoint) US proxy states, firmly aligned with IMF-World Bank-WTO economic diktats.

It is worth recalling that since 1991, India's macroeconomic policy was under under the control of the Bretton Woods institutions, with a former World Bank official, Dr. Manmohan Singh, serving first as Finance Minister and subsequently as Prime Minister.

Moreover, while India is an ally of China and Russia under BRICS, it has entered into a new defense cooperation deal with the Pentagon which is (unofficially) directed against Russia and China. It is also cooperating with the US in aerospace technology. India constitutes the largest market (after Saudi Arabia) for the sale of US weapons systems. And all these transactions are in US dollars.

Similarly, Brazil signed a far-reaching Defense agreement with the US in 2010 under the government of Luis Ignacio da Silva, who in the words of the IMF's former managing director Heinrich Koeller, "Is Our Best President", "… I am enthusiastic [with Lula's administration]; but it is better to say I am deeply impressed by President Lula, indeed, and in particular because I do think he has the credibility" (IMF Managing Director Heinrich Koeller, Press conference, 10 April 2003 ).

In Brazil, the Bretton Woods institutions and Wall Street have dominated macro-economic reform since the outset of the government of Luis Ignacio da Silva in 2003. Under Lula, a Wall Street executive was appointed to head the Central Bank, the Banco do Brazil was in the hands of a former CitiGroup executive. While there are divisions within the ruling PT party, neoliberalism prevails. Economic and social in Brazil is in large part dictated by the country's external creditors including JPMorgan Chase, Bank America and Citigroup.

Central Bank Reserves and The External Debt

India and Brazil (together with Mexico) are among the World's most indebted developing countries. The foreign exchange reserves are fragile. India's external debt in 2013 was of the order of more than $427 Billion, that of Brazil was a staggering $482 billion, South Africa's external debt was of the order of $140 Billion. (World Bank, External Debt Stock, 2013).

External Debt Stock (2013)

Brazil $482 billion

India $427 billion

South Africa $140 billion

All three countries have central banks reserves (including gold and forex holdings) which are lower than their external debt (see table below).

Central Bank Reserves (2013)

Brazil $359 billion

India: $298 billion

South Africa $50 billion

The situation of South Africa is particularly precarious with an external debt which is almost three times its central bank reserves.

What this means is that these three BRICS member states are under the brunt of their Western creditors. Their central bank reserves are sustained by borrowed money. Their central bank operations (e.g. with a view to supporting domestic investments and development programs) will require borrowing in US dollars. Their central banks are essentially "currency board" arrangements, their national currencies are dollarized.

The BRICs Development Bank (NDB)

On 15 July 2014, the group of five countries signed an agreement to create the US$100 billion BRICS Development Bank together with a US dollar denominated " reserve currency pool" of US$100 billion. These commitments were subsequently revised.

Each of the five-member countries "is expected to allocate an equal share of the $50 billion startup capital that will be expanded to $100 billion. Russia has agreed to provide $2 billion from the federal budget for the bank over the next seven years." (RT, March 9, 2015).

In turn, the commitments to the Contingency Reserve Arrangement are as follows;

Brazil, $18 billion

Russia $18 billion

India $18 billion

China $41 billion

South Africa $5 billion

Total $100 billion

As mentioned earlier, India, Brazil and South Africa, are heavily indebted countries with central bank reserves substantially below the level of their external debt. Their contribution to the two BRICs financial entities can only be financed:

  • by running down their dollar denominated central bank reserves and/or
  • by financing their contributions to the Development Bank and CRA, by borrowing the money, namely by "running up" their dollar denominated external debt.
In both cases, dollar hegemony prevails. In other words, the Western creditors of these three countries will be required to "contribute" directly or indirectly to the financing of the dollar denominated contributions of Brazil, India and South Africa to the BRICS development bank (NDB) and the CRA.

In the case of South Africa with Central Bank reserves of the order of 50 billion dollars, the contribution to the BRICS NDB will inevitably be financed by an increase in the country's (US dollar denominated) external debt.

Moreover, with regard to India, Brazil and South Africa, their membership in the BRICS Development Bank was no doubt the object of behind closed doors negotiations with the IMF as well as guarantees that they would not depart from the "Washington Consensus" on macro-economic reform.

Under a scheme whereby these countries were to be in be in full control of their Central Bank monetary policy, the contributions to the Development Bank (NDB) would be allocated in national currency rather than US dollars under a multi-currency arrangement. Needless to say under a multi-currency system the contingency CRA fund would not be required.

The geopolitics behind the BRICS initiative are crucial. While the BRICS initiative from the very outset has accepted the dollar system, this does not exclude the introduction, at a later stage of a multiple currency arrangement, which challenges dollar hegemony.

BRICS New Development Bank to finance 5 projects in Russia (НБР БРИКС профинансирует 5 проектов в России) / Russia, July, 2018
Keywords: ndb, investments

MOSCOW, July 24. /TASS/. The BRICS New Development Bank will finance five projects in Russia, Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said on Tuesday.

"At the moment, the bank approved 21 projects totaling more than $5 billion. Five of these projects will be implemented in Russia," he said without specifying them.

He added that the work of the New Development Bank is on the agenda of the first day of the BRICS Summit that will be held in South Africa on July 25-27.

"On July 25, tomorrow, the traditional session of the BRICS business forum will be held. There Russia will be represented by Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin. The participants will hear reports on the work of the Business Council and the New Development Bank," the presidential aide said.

At the BRICS summit Russia will also be represented by head of VEB (Vnesheconombank) Igor Shuvalov, head of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev, head of Rostec state corporation Sergey Chemezov, and President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sergey Katyrin.

The agreement on establishing the BRICS New Development Bank was reached on July 15, 2014 in Brazil's Fortaleza. The bank's starting capital was set at $100 bln. The Shanghai-headquartered bank has been set up to finance infrastructure projects and projects for sustainable development of BRICS and other developing countries.
BRICS countries strive for strengthened collaboration (Страны БРИКС стремятся к укреплению сотрудничества) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: ndb, summit, economic_challenges
South Africa

The push for improved cooperation and growth of the BRICS bloc are emerging strongly as key elements of the 10th BRICS Summit currently underway in Johannesburg.

Delivering the report of the work of the New Development Bank (NDB) to a sitting of the Heads of State of BRICS, NDB President Kundapur Kamath said the bank, established in 2014 by the bloc, has made tremendous progress.

"The bank is now fully operational and is in a rapid, though prudent, growth phase, building on the strong foundation that has already been laid," said Kamath on Thursday.

The NDB is a multilateral development bank established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS). In the progress update, Kamath highlighted that the bank, which has its headquarters in Shanghai, China, has to date approved 23 projects worth about $5.7 billion in its member countries.

"These projects now go beyond the core renewable energy sectors that we earlier focused on into areas such as rural roads, ecosystem restoration, water supply, particularly in rural areas, irrigation system restructuring, and energy conservation, reflecting our ability to appraise increasingly complex projects as we continue to move up the learning curve."

Almost all of the bank's lending supports sustainable infrastructure and development.

The bank has received over $4 billion in capital. The bank's Africa Regional Centre (ARC), which was launched in August 2017, has also made progress.

"The ARC in South Africa is fully operational," Kemath said, adding that the centre located in Johannesburg has been instrumental in helping the bank to become more effective.

Meanwhile, Kemath announced that the NDB is due to open a branch in São Paulo, Brazil, later this year, while another is to be opened in Russia next year.

Following his remarks, the NDB and government of Brazil signed an agreement on the hosting of the bank's Americas Regional Office (ARO) in Brazil.

The bank currently employs about 115 staff and hopes to have a staff complement of 200 by the end of the year.

Kemath said the bank is energised about the future, given that rapid technological changes are disrupting the way the world operates and require new ways of thinking.

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa commended the work of the bank, saying it has taken BRICS beyond the confines of a talk shop, and catapulted it into a forum where decisions are taken and implemented.

"The bank is doing wonderful work," said President Ramaphosa.

Work of the BRICS Business Council

At the open session attended by President Ramaphosa's counterparts, namely Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Michel Temer, the annual report of the BRICS Business Council was delivered by council chair Dr Iqbal Survé.

BRICS countries have reinforced their ongoing commitment to ensuring greater economic trade and investment ties among themselves.

"What underpins cooperation is the commitment to serve our countries in the interest of creating a better life for all," said Survé.

The three major focus points identified during South Africa's BRICS Business Council rotating chairmanship were youth entrepreneurship, the digital economy, skills development for the 4th Industrial Revolution, and agriculture and food security.

These themes were advanced in the annual meeting through continued deliberation on the establishment of a BRICS seed bank and a presentation on youth entrepreneurship.

Initiatives discussed at length included the establishment of a BRICS credit rating agency and the new international payment system among others.

Survé said it was expected that agreements on these would be signed during the council's annual meeting. However, it was identified that further consultation is required in these matters "before finalisation can be reached".

Practical collaboration

There was emphasis on practical collaboration among the bloc's members to identify bankable projects, an objective which all members seek to achieve.

A proposal was also made to establish a 10th working group on youth. A detailed proposal on this will be received by the end of July.

"A presentation was made and it was well received within the Council," Survé said.

Following the signing of two agreements at the session, the Heads of State broke away to engage in bilateral sessions ahead of the conclusion of the Summit on Friday.

The 10th Summit, which got underway on Wednesday, is the second summit to be hosted by South Africa since joining the bloc in 2011. -

China, BRICS Push to Shift World Order Amid Trade Threats (Китай, БРИКС изменят мировые порядки, несмотря на угрозы в торговле) / USA, July, 2018
Keywords: summit, trade_relations, expert_opinion
Author: Ana Monteiro and Amogelang Mbatha

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, representing about 40 percent of the world's population and almost a quarter of its output, think it's time for a change in how things are done.

After a three-day summit in Johannesburg, the BRICS nations said they want a fairer, more representative global order in diplomacy and trade just as China, the biggest member, faces billions of dollars of extra U.S. tariffs.

They also seek reforms at the United Nations, the UN Security Council and the International Monetary Fund to better represent developing nations, and have asked that members of the World Trade Organization -- including the U.S. -- abide by WTO rules as the multilateral trading system faces "unprecedented challenges."

Catching Up

The BRICS nations' combined GDP is more than 90% the size of U.S. output

"They're not only re-balancing the current global order, but contesting that order," Lyal White, senior director of the Johannesburg Business School at the University of Johannesburg, said by phone Friday. "Each of these countries can't do that on their own, but together they're a force to be reckoned with. This is a decisive but progressive shift."

Driving the call for multilateralism in trade at the summit was Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose U.S. counterpart Donald Trump escalated trade tensions by threatening to impose tariffs on every one of the Asian economy's exports. That could derail a global upswing that's already losing momentum amid weaker-than-expected economic growth in Europe and Japan as financial markets seem complacent to the mounting risks, the International Monetary Fund warned July 16.

'Under Attack'

BRICS "took a firm stance against protectionism," South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told reporters at the end of the summit on Friday. "We felt we need to do everything we can to strengthen the multilateral trade system which is now under attack. There are many attempts to weaken it."

The members are sovereign nations and would never be pressured into taking sides, he said. "None of us, as part of BRICS, will ever accept the fact that we should be told who our friends should be and who our enemies should be."

The annual gathering of the coterie of emerging economic powers, first identified by former Goldman Sachs Asset Management Chairman Jim O'Neill, is the 10th since its leaders started meeting and the first since the prospect of a full-blown global trade war became a real threat.

EM Coalition

"The BRICS summit has been extremely successful for China in terms of building a coalition of emerging markets that seek to defend the current multilateral trade regime," Martyn Davies, managing director for emerging markets and Africa at Deloitte, said by phone. "What we have seen is the development of an agenda for these countries, because there's never been an agenda before. We've never seen BRICS talking about liberalized trade as a grouping or as a coalition, but now trade is front and foremost."

Russia is pushing for better business ties between counterparts in the club, President Vladimir Putin said. All countries committed to strengthen their cooperation in energy and developing new technologies.

China pledged $14.7 billion in investment in South Africa, including loans to its state power utility and logistics company. The commitments are the biggest yet from the Asian nation to South Africa, whose electricity producer is cash-strapped as it cleans up governance issues.

Global Rules

"Are you going to say no to investment and loans that are sorely needed?" said White. "China is going to become the most dominant economy in the world. These are the rules of the game globally - South Africa has to learn how to play."

China benefited significantly from joining a multilateral, regulated liberalized regime when it became part of the WTO in 2001, Davies said.

"The major component of China's growth has been dependent on exports -- of course it's going to defend that and to bring other countries along," he said. "It's making the point by creating these coalitions in the BRICS directed against the belligerence and erratic nature of U.S. trade policy."
BRICS: SA signs $14bln trade agreements with China (БРИКС: ЮАР подписала торговые соглашения с Китаем на 14 млрд долларов) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: investments, concluded_agreements, summit
South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday that the South African government had signed several agreements, including memorandums of understanding (MOUs) on investments, amounting to R14.7 billion with China.

Various government departments signed agreements with the Chinese government in areas, such as the simplification of visas, while State-owned enterprises such as Eskom and Transnet, and private sector companies Standard Bank and Naspers also signed agreements.

The agreements were signed on the eve of the three-day 10th BRICS Summit, which opens in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

"We have signed several agreements and memorandums of understanding that are intended to further deepen our relations, including investment commitments that have been struck to the value of U.S.$14.7 billion," Ramaphosa said.

"President Xi indicated that China is ready to invest, and to work with South Africa in various sectors such as; infrastructure, ocean economy, green economy, science and technology, agriculture, environment, as well as finance."

Ramaphosa was hosting the president of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, who began his state visit at the Union Buildings in Pretoria ahead of the BRICS meet on Wednesday.

Ramaphosa said that government recognised that though trade figures had grown steadily over the past two years, bilateral trade had not reached its full potential, hence avenues were being explored for increasing trade and identifying sectors for future investment, and promoting tourism between the two countries.
How BRICS Plus clashes with the US economic war on Iran (Как БРИКС Плюс столкнулся с экономической войной США с Ираном) / China, July, 2018
Keywords: economic_challenges, brics+
Author: Pepe Escobar

he key take away from the BRICS summit in Johannesburg is that Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – important Global South players – strongly condemn unilateralism and protectionism.

The Johannesburg Declaration is unmistakable: "We recognize that the multilateral trading system is facing unprecedented challenges. We underscore the importance of an open world economy."

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Closer examination of Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech unlocks some poignant details.

Xi, crucially, emphasizes delving further into "our strategic partnership." That implies increased BRICS and Beyond BRICS multilateral trade, investment and economic and financial connectivity.

And that also implies reaching to the next level; "It is important that we continue to pursue innovation-driven development and build the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR) to strengthen coordination on macroeconomic policies, find more complementarities in our development strategies, and reinforce the competitiveness of the BRICS countries, emerging market economies and developing countries."

If PartNIR sounds like the basis for an overall Global South platform, that's because it is.

In a not too veiled allusion to the Trump administration's unilateral pullout from the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), Xi called all parties to "abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations and to settle disputes through dialogue and differences through consultation," adding that the BRICS are inevitably working for "a new type of international relations."

Relations such as these certainly do not include a superpower unilaterally imposing an energy export blockade – an act of economic war – on an emerging market and key actor of the Global South.

Xi is keen to extol a "network of closer partnerships." That's where the concept of BRICS Plus fits in. China coined BRICS Plus last year at the Xiamen summit, it refers to closer integration between the five BRICS members and other emerging markets/developing nations.

Argentina, Turkey and Jamaica are guests of honor in Johannesburg. Xi sees BRICS Plus interacting with the UN, the G20 "and other frameworks" to amplify the margin of maneuver not only of emerging markets but the whole Global South. So how does Iran fit into this framework?

An absurd game of chicken

Immediately after President Trump's Tweet of Mass Destruction the rhetorical war between Washington and Tehran has skyrocketed to extremely dangerous levels.

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Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) Quds Force – and a true rock star in Iran – issued a blistering response to Trump: "You may begin the war, but it is us who will end it."

The IRGC yields massive economic power in Iran and is in total symbiosis with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. It's no secret the IRGC never trusted President Rouhani's strategy of relying on the JCPOA as the path to improve Iran's economy. After the unilateral Trump administration pullout, the IRGC feels totally vindicated.

The mere threat of a US attack on Iran has engineered a rise in oil prices. US reliance on Middle East Oil is going down while fracking – boosted by higher prices – is ramping up. The threat of war increases with Tehran now overtly referring to its power to cripple global energy supplies literally overnight.

In parallel the Houthis, by forcing the Yemen-bombing House of Saud to stop oil shipments via the Bab al-Mandeb port, are configuring the Strait of Hormuz and scores of easily targeted pipelines as even more crucial to the flow of energy that makes the West tick. If there ever was a US attack on Iran, Persian Gulf analysts stress only Russia, Nigeria and Venezuela might be able to provide enough oil and gas to make up for lost supplies to the West. That's not exactly what the Trump administration is looking for.

Iranian "nuclear weapons" was always a bogus issue. Tehran did not have them – and was not pursuing them. Yet now the highly volatile rhetorical war introduces the hair-raising possibility of Tehran perceiving there is a clear danger of a US nuclear attack or an attack whose purpose is to destroy the nation's infrastructure. If cornered, there's no question the IRGC would buy nuclear weapons on the black market and use them to defend the nation.

This is the "secret" hidden in Soleimani's message. Besides, Russia could easily – and secretly – supply Iran with state-of-the-art defensive missiles and the most advanced offensive missiles.

This absurd game of chicken is absolutely unnecessary for Washington from an oil strategy point of view – apart from the intent to break a key node of Eurasia integration. Assuming the Trump administration is playing chess, it's imperative to think 20 moves ahead if "winning" is on the cards.

If a US oil blockade on Iran is coming, Iran could answer with its own Strait of Hormuz blockade, producing economic turmoil for the West. If this leads to a massive depression, it's unlikely the industrial-military-security complex will blame itself.

There's no question that Russia and China – the two key BRICS players – will have Iran's back. First there's Russia's participation in Iran's nuclear and aerospace industries and then the Russia-Iran collaboration in the Astana process to solve the Syria tragedy. With China, Iran as one of the country's top energy suppliers and plays a crucial role in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Russia and China have an outsize presence in the Iranian market and similar ambitions to bypass the US dollar and third-party US sanctions.

Beam me up, Global South

The true importance of the BRICS Johannesburg summit is how it is solidifying a Global South plan of action that would have Iran as one of its key nodes. Iran, although not named in an excellent analysis by Yaroslav Lissovolik at the Valdai Club, is the quintessential BRICS Plus nation.

Once again, BRICS Plus is all about constituting a "unified platform of regional integration arrangements," going way beyond regional deals to reach other developing nations in a transcontinental scope.

This means a platform integrating the African Union (AU), the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as well as the South Asian Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

Iran is a future member of the SCO and has already struck a deal with the EAEU. It's also an important node of the BRI and is a key member, along BRICS members India and Russia, of the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), essential for deeper Eurasia connectivity.

Lissovolik uses BEAMS as the acronym to designate "the aggregation of regional integration groups, with BRICS Plus being a broader concept that incorporates other forms of BRICS' interaction with developing economies."

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi has defined BRICS Plus and BEAMS as the "most extensive platform for South-South cooperation with a global impact." The Global South now does have an integration road map. If it ever happened, an attack on Iran would be not only an attack on BRICS Plus and BEAMS but on the whole Global South.

BRICS Summit: Major Banks From Member States Sign MoU on DLT Research (Саммит БРИКС: крупные банки от государств-членов подписывают Меморандум о взаимопонимании по исследованиям блокчейнов) / USA, July, 2018
Keywords: digital, concluded_agreements, summit
Author: Max Yakubowski

Five major banks from each BRICS member state signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the development of distributed ledger technology (DLT), according to an official press release July 26.

During the 10th International BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, banks from the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa agreed to a joint study of DLT technology like blockchain, "in the interests of the development of the digital economy." BRICS countries have met annually since 2009 to discuss initiatives for economic, cultural, and political cooperation between member states.

The State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank), the Brazilian National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), the Export-Import Bank of India, the China Development Bank, and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) will all participate in the study.

The main focus of the 10th BRICS Summit in South Africa is cooperation in economic development "in the face of the fourth industrial revolution," according to the press release. Mikhail Poluboyarinov, First Deputy Chairman and a Member of the Board at Vnesheconombank, said of the MoU:

"The current agreement allows the development banks of BRICS countries to study the applications of innovative technologies in infrastructure finance and bank products optimization."

Earlier this month, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) initiated its own study of blockchain technology, with the eventual goal of integrating it into the bank's business processes. RBZ governor John Mangudya said that the bank wants to embrace the technology in order to keep up with blockchain banking innovations in other countries.

Banks worldwide are finding a variety of uses cases and applications for the technology.

Last week, Bank of America (BoA) filed a patent for a blockchain-based system that allows for the external validation of data, and the Bank of Thailand (BoT) is considering blockchain tech for cross-border payments and fraud protection.

Gold mining project in Russia praised at BRICS Summit (Проект по добыче золота в России одобрен на саммите БРИКС) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: summit
South Africa

JOHANNESBURG: An Indian-driven gold mining project in Siberia has been hailed at the BRICS Summit here as the first practical implementation of the objectives of the grouping comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The Kluchevskoye Gold Mining Project, initiated by India's SUN Gold Ltd, is being seen as the first-ever industrial public-private partnership investment project to be undertaken by partners from all BRICS member-states.

China National Gold Group Corporation, the Russian Sovereign Investment Fund, Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund (FEDF), and leading private investment and business leaders from Brazil and South Africa, are partnering in the project located in the Chita region of eastern Siberia.

The multinational joint venture will see the transformation of the Kluchevskoye gold deposit into a significant open-pit mine, with an expected gold production of more than 6.5 tonnes per annum.

Pre-production investment of up to $500 million is planned, with China National Gold as the major shareholder and technological partner.

CNG, one of the world's leading gold companies, will provide management and development expertise, while the century-old Indian SUN Group brings 60 years' of experience of working in Russia, having built several significant businesses in the country, including SUN Brewing, one of the region's largest beer companies.

FEDF's involvement will bring regional investment and political support for the project, and opportunities for further growth in the gold and copper mining sector in the Russian Far East.

The South African and Brazilian investors seek to add a dimension to create a joint investment and industrial platform for growth in Africa and Latin America.

"This project has given us an understanding of how BRICS can actually work in a practical manner where we can use complementary strengths," Shiv Khemka, vice chairman of the Indian-owned SUN Group, told PTI at the summit.

"It's just a different way of looking at things through two different lenses to bring the expertise of all these countries together to work as a team on something that we hope will be very successful."

He said his company bought the Siberian mine in 2007 as it looked around for old mines which presented opportunities.

"The local government was also very supportive, so that was important for us," Khemka said. He has lived in Russia for 25 years and started up several companies there.

Ivor Ichikowitz, chairman of TransAfrica Capital, said the project marked a critical step in the evolution of BRICS.

"It is projects like this that make a real economic impact not only on economic growth, but more importantly by creating jobs which impact on citizens' lives while at the same time bringing the BRICS collective closer together," Ichikowitz said. LATEST COMMENT

India should demand one or two similar joint projects to be taken up in India also , to reduce imports , create jobs etc.Mokkapati Prabhakara Rao

Iqbal Surve, chairman of BRICS Business Council, was hopeful about the venture serving as a model for multilateral cooperation for other countries as well.

"This innovative model of public and private partners from BRICS countries coming together can be used as a model to tackle significant projects in non-BRICS countries as well, creating a sustainable model for cooperation, collaboration and investment-led economic growth, boosting industrial development and providing turnkey, sustainable job creation," Surve said.
New Development Bank Concludes Successful Participation at Brics Summit 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa (Новый банк развития завершил успешное участие на саммите БРИКС 2018 в Йоханнесбурге, Южная Африка) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: ndb, summit, investments, concluded_agreements
South Africa

The tenth BRICS Summit concluded today at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, during which the New Development Bank showcased its growing support for the sustainable economic development of the BRICS countries. Over the course of the three-day summit, the Bank participated in a series of high-profile meetings and sessions with BRICS nations' leaders and the wider BRICS business community, wherein the Bank delivered updates on key projects and other announcements, summarized below:

Through its active participation in the BRICS Summit, the Bank reaffirmed its determination to expand its role as an innovative and reliable development partner to all BRICS countries in the year ahead, increasing its support for all member nations to achieve their development agendas.

With the approval of the two projects from South Africa and China, the Bank's lending portfolio has expanded to 23 projects aggregating USD 5.7 billion, indicating the accelerating momentum behind NDB and the strong demand for sustainable infrastructure financing among member nations.

"Thus far, the NDB has approved 23 projects for about USD 5.7 billion in our member countries. These projects now go beyond the core renewable energy sectors that we earlier focused on into areas such as rural roads, ecosystem restoration, water supply particularly in rural areas, irrigation system restructuring, and energy conservation, reflecting our ability to appraise increasingly complex projects as we continue to move up the learning curve. Almost all of our lending supports sustainable infrastructure and development," said NDB President Mr. K.V. Kamath.

"By the end of this year, we expect the total approvals to reach about USD 7.5 billion. In 2019, we are targeting incremental approvals of about USD 7-8 billion," added the NDB President.

"We are geared to fund conventional infrastructure as well as to harness transformative technologies in the service of development. Besides the traditional set of lending products, we will also begin offering non-fund based financial products such as guarantees and credit enhancements. We will work at speed, scale, and make a positive difference, quickly and effectively," highlighted Mr. K.V. Kamath.

Details on key NDB activities at the tenth BRICS Summit 2018

Project approvals: With a focus on infrastructure and sustainable development, the Bank approved one loan for South Africa and one for China in the run-up to the BRICS Summit. The NDB will provide a loan of USD 300 million without sovereign guarantee to the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction and Energy Sector Development Project. The Bank will also provide a USD 300 million sovereign project loan to the People's Republic of China for Luoyang Metro Project to support the construction of a new metro line in the city of Luoyang, a densely populated city located in central China, aiming to reduce heavy traffic in the highly congested urban area, and enhance mobility and accessibility.

Business breakfast: On 23 July 2018, NDB and the BRICS Business Council (BBC) co-hosted a Business Breakfast in Durban, with attendance from key diplomatic leaders and business leaders. The objective of this meeting was to discuss updates on investment opportunities, credit rating options for the bank from global capital markets, continued efforts to identify the right projects to drive sustainability in all member countries, establishing a guarantee mechanism between the Bank and BBC to strengthen partnerships on future projects and more.

The President's Speech to BRICS Leaders: Mr. K.V. Kamath met with leaders of the BRICS countries and delivered an update to them, reporting on the Bank's progress. He confirmed that to date, the NDB has approved 23 projects aggregating USD 5.7 billion. He also highlighted that the NDB Africa Regional Center in Johannesburg is the face of the Bank in South Africa and an extension of the same focus on scaling up projects for the country. Mr. Kamath also noted on the upcoming opening of the Americas Regional Office in Brazil this year.

Americas Regional Office opening in Brazil: NDB and the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil signed the Agreement on hosting of the NDB Americas Regional Office (ARO), slated to be opened later in this year. This is a key milestone for the Bank as the ARO will play a crucial role in the identification and preparation of bankable projects in Brazil.

Meeting with South Africa President: Mr. K.V. Kamath met with Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of the Republic of South Africa. The key updates during the meeting included further development of the Bank, expansion of the Bank's project pipeline in South Africa, the progress so far and the evolving role of NDB's Africa Regional Center in Johannesburg.

About NDB

The New Development Bank (NDB) is a multilateral development bank established in 2014 by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, complementing the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development. To fulfill its purpose, the NDB will support public or private projects through loans, guarantees, equity participation and other financial instruments.

World of work
Social policy, trade unions, actions
BRICS gears up to take its place in digital revolution (БРИКС готовится занять место в цифровой революции) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: digital
South Africa

As leaders gathered for day two of the 10th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on Thursday, they were united in their cause to secure their spots in the imminent Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Preparation for the revolution, also dubbed the digital age or revolution 4.0, dominated discussions among the leaders of the bloc.

The digital age is characterised by big data, artificial intelligence, and new technologies, industries and business models.

"This surge in innovation has the potential to dramatically improve productivity and to place entire countries on a new trajectory of prosperity. It has the potential to solve many of the social problems we face by better equipping us to combat disease, hunger and environmental degradation," said President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The President said unless the digital age is approached in a collaborative manner, underpinned by a developmental agenda and rapid technological change, it would merely serve to entrench existing disparities within and between countries.

Day two of the summit also saw BRICS leaders sign two agreements: one on environmental cooperation and a memorandum of understating on a regional aviation partnership amongst the BRICS countries.

Openness, breaking down trade barriers, education and addressing the imbalance of available skills compared to those required by the digital age were championed as the keys to ensure that BRICS nations do not get left behind.

BRICS countries should not become mere adopters of new technologies; instead, they should combine their resources and expertise to become innovators, said President Ramaphosa.

"We should not allow technology to shape our societies. We must instead ensure that the needs of our societies shape the technologies that we develop.

"We must ensure that mastery of the 4th Industrial Revolution does not become the exclusive preserve of just a handful of countries. We must promote inclusivity, diversity and cooperation," he said.

Guided by the BRICS vision to share in inclusive growth, Brazilian President Michel Temer said it is only by opening up their countries that they will realise the fruit of their grouping.

"We can only be competitive if we are open. And I mean open to more sophisticated inputs, advanced technologies, bolder ideas, and open to more investments and trade," said President Temer.

With the realisation that the there is an imbalance between the skills currently available and those demanded by the digital age, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi articulated the need for BRICS member states to align education and skills in preparation for revolution 4.0.

"We will need to develop school curricular and university courses in such a way that they are able to prepare our youth for the future. We need to ensure that the very fast changes that are taking place in technology [are] reflected in the same pace in our courses," Prime Minister Narendra Modi

In line with skills development, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China will host 17 human resources development programmes, where experts from "the five countries will be invited to draw up a blueprint for co-operation in the industrial revolution".

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin said to enable economic growth in the group, BRICS members must "create a comfortable environment to stimulate the economic sectors", and encourage co-operation among the countries' respective businesses.

According to President Putin, in 2017, Russian trade with BRICS countries grew by 30% and to build on this, Russia aims to further develop and support proposals to simplify trade barriers between the respective countries.

Following the open session and signing of agreements, the BRICS leaders engaged in bilateral sessions.

BRICS-Africa Outreach

To conclude the three-day summit, a BRICS Plus initiative and BRICS-Africa outreach session are planned for Friday. This will see BRICS leaders engage with their counterparts from Africa and emerging economies on charting a way forward.

Rwandan President and African Union chair Paul Kagame, Togo President Faure Gnassingbe, Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Angolan President Joao Lourenco, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Namibia, as incoming chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), are set to participate in an outreach session.

President of Argentina and Head of the G8, Mauricio Marci; chair of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and President of Turkey Recep Erdogan and United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will also take part in the BRICS plus initiative on Friday. –

BRICS a global brand (БРИКС - глобальный бренд) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: research, social_issues
South Africa

The political alliance of BRICS nations has become a distinct global brand in its own right, according to a research conducted by Brand South Africa.

"In an ironic twist of geopolitical fate in the 21st century, the five developing nations of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have become advocates of free global trade and of globalisation, promoters of protection for the environment in light of global climate challenges and a force that advances the cause of an integrated, international, multipolar international order," said Dr Petrus de Kock, General Manager for Research with Brand South Africa.

In a research report released this week, titled 'The BRICS Brand: from economic concept to institution of global governance', Brand South Africa examined whether the BRICS alliance could be approached or analysed as an emerging institution of global governance and therefore a brand in its own right.

The research explored how the increased formalisation of intra- and inter-BRICS interactions, the establishment of institutions such as the BRICS New Development Bank, and increased interaction on platforms including Business Council and Think Tank structures also lead to the development of the BRICS' collective image.

Since inception and leading up to the 2018 BRICS Summit, the BRICS Research Group found that there have been more than 160 formal meetings between members and 60 documents implemented through working groups and coordination mechanisms.

70% summit decisions implemented

Furthermore, between 2009 and 2017, BRICS nations have made a total of 406 commitments and implemented 70% of summit decisions.

Dr de Kock said the results were surprising.

He said the research had disproved what sceptics argued, that due to the diverse nature of the member states' internal composition, and geopolitical and economic policy objectives, the organisation would find it hard to cohere and develop.

The research has shown that the geographic and internal diversity of the member states are actually an asset that has served to strengthen cooperation while simultaneously increasing the soft power impact of the member states.

Post-global financial crisis

De Kock noted that the development of the BRICS brand takes place in a post-global financial crisis world characterised by growing protectionism, trade wars and turbulent political change.

"The developments in the global economy and geopolitical environments play a major role in driving the search for strengthened, deepened and institutionalised BRICS interactions.

"BRICS nations have been bucking these global trends of anti-globalisation and counter-integrationist discourses and as a result, have anchored their own economies through the BRICS partnerships," De Kock said.

The research report captured findings related to three specific aspects of the BRICS brand. These included:

  • The emergence of the BRICS as an institution in the global governance arena;
  • How the institutionalisation of the BRICS contributes to the development of the BRICS brand; and
  • How the BRICS brand presents a unique case of compound soft power or the multilateralisation of soft power?
"The BRICS countries connect 42% of the world's population and are establishing new institutions and hosting conversations to create a world where bricks are there to build bridges of mutual understanding, and not create walls of division, conflict, exploitation, nationalism, prejudice and exclusion," de Kock said. –

Protesters demand China's Xi stop cheap labour policies, India's Modi pull out of Kashmir – and Ramaphosa go to jail (Протестующие требуют от президента Китая Си прекратить политику дешевой рабочей силы в сфере труда, ПМ Индии Моди - выйти из Кашмира - и Рамафосу отправить в тюрьму) / South Africa, July, 2018
Keywords: social_issues, summit
South Africa
Author: Nkateko Mabasa

As Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa held a summit to strengthen relations and increase trade between the five countries, a coalition of civic organisations marched to the Sandton Convention Centre to protest against what they fear is a bad investment for the working class. 1

Just over a hundred members of the Break the BRICS coalition, a civic movement consisting of labour, community and youth organisations, marched on the Sandton Convention Centre on Wednesday to protest against the BRICS Summit under way there.

The aim of the march, according to a statement by the coalition, was to raise awareness of the "capitalist nature of the BRICS states" and to oppose the "anti-working class" and "environmentally destructive" policies of the participating countries.

Trevor Ngwane, convener of Break the BRICS, said the summit is about big business making deals and has nothing to do with issues affecting the poor. The "neo-liberal pro-business summit", said Ngwane, is about attacking the rights of the workers and reducing democracy in Africa.

"We want to raise awareness on how the BRICS heads of state undermine democracy and push policies that exploit the working class," said Ngwane.

Zoe Akana, a Congolese national who works as a tour guide at OR Tambo International Airport, immigrated to South Africa in 2006 after what he describes as persecution by police and stringent limits to freedom of expression when criticising the long-time president, Joseph Kabila.

Akana said he supports the march because China poses a new kind of colonialism on the continent. His friends in the Congo frequently call to inform him of the bad working conditions and poor pay in the factories and mines that China operates.

"We, as Africans, must stand together and say no, because what is going to happen in South Africa is what is already happening in Congo," said Akana.

"South Africa is the economic sandbag which all the other countries dump their cheap exports," Khan said.

He hopes to raise awareness of the "war crimes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi" in India's occupation of Kashmir, where there have been reports of killings and rape, likened to the Israel occupation in Palestine, said Khan.

The Rwandan National Congress also participated in the march to protest against Rwanda's President Paul Kagame who was attending the summit as a guest of BRICS. The congress's Frank Ntwali said President Kagame abuses his power by the arrest and killing of opposition members.

In 2013, former head of intelligence Patrick Karegeya was assassinated in a Sandton hotel in an act which Ntwali believes was sanctioned by Kagame.

"We want to send a message that a world dictator should not be given a red carpet," said Ntwali.

The coalition submitted a memorandum of demands which includes:

  • Chinese premier Xi Jinpin stop cheap labour policies, suppressing of labour strikes, censoring of Chinese media and dumping of surplus good on the world market.
  • India's Nerandra Modi stop should the illegal occupation of Kashmir, stop promoting pro-fascist Hindu nationalism and stop the Vendenta company from stealing copper in Zambia.
  • Russia's Vladimir Putin stop repressing democrats and the murder of journalists, as well as the reversal of the gains of the working class under the Soviet Union, such as the raising of the retirement age from 55 to 65 in July.
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa must go to jail for the murder of Marikana workers and must stop his anti-strike laws.
Minister of Public Works, Thulas Nxesi, and Minister of Water and Sanitation Gugile Nkwinti accepted the memorandum from the coalition.

Nxesi thanked the coalition for using their constitutional right to march peacefully.

According to Nxesi, the investment to be made by the BRICS Bank will be allocated to different sectors in order to create jobs. The biggest challenge the economy is facing is unemployment and there needs to be some investment to create jobs, he said.

"We will however take all these issues, table them to the leadership – the head of states, who are leading us, and then they will be able to look into how to deal with the issues that you have raised." DM
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