The 15th BRICS Summit, held in South Africa on 23-24 August 2023, was a timely opportunity for the bloc to discuss ways to accelerate and facilitate trade among its member countries.
The summit’s theme, “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism,” reflected the bloc’s commitment to working with Africa to boost economic growth and development.
In his opening remarks, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted the importance of trade and investment in driving economic growth. He said that BRICS countries should work together to “harness the potential of our markets and economies to create jobs, promote industrialization and reduce poverty.”
Ramaphosa also called for the bloc to “continue discussions on practical measures to facilitate trade and investment flows through the increased use of local currencies.”
There are a number of practical ways that BRICS countries can accelerate and facilitate trade. These include:
- Reducing or eliminating tariffs and other trade barriers.
- Simplifying customs procedures.
- Investing in infrastructure, such as roads, ports and railways.
- Promoting the use of local currencies for trade.
- Facilitating the movement of people and goods across borders.
The BRICS countries have already made some progress in these areas. For example, they have agreed to reduce or eliminate tariffs on 90% of goods traded between them. They have also established the BRICS New Development Bank, which can provide financing for infrastructure projects.
However, there is still more that can be done to accelerate and facilitate trade among BRICS countries. The 15th BRICS Summit was a good opportunity for the bloc to discuss these issues and make concrete commitments to promote trade and investment.
As a member of the Banking On Africa’s Future (BOAF) Network, I believe that trade and investment are essential for Africa’s economic development. The BRICS countries have a key role to play in this process. By working together, they can help to create a more prosperous and inclusive future for Africa.
In addition to the practical measures mentioned above, BRICS countries can also support trade and investment in Africa by:
- Providing technical assistance to African countries to improve their trade and investment policies and institutions.
- Investing in African businesses and projects.
- Promoting trade and investment between African countries.
By taking these steps, BRICS countries can help to unlock the potential of Africa’s economy and create a better future for all Africans.