NATIONAL NEWS - South African business needs to take advantage of the commercial opportunities offered by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), Business Unity SA (Busa) said on Sunday.
The inaugural BRICS Business Forum in China had established a solid foundation for enhanced business ties amongst the biggest and fastest growing economies in the world, said Busa CEO Nomaxabiso Majokweni.
"Africa's economic expansion of plus five percent over the past decade has been a direct product of its strategic ties to the emerging world, where BRIC [excluding SA] countries serve as the growth engine," she said ahead of the second BRICS business forum in India.
Busa will lead a South African business delegation of over 50 companies to the forum in New Delhi, on Wednesday and Thursday.
Majokweni said South Africa's trade with the other BRICS economies had increased by 108 percent from 2007 to 2011
"This is in stark contrast to South Africa's trade relationship with the EU [European Union], which saw growth of 12 percent in the same period."
She said the comparison was not to diminish South Africa's commercial relationship with Europe, but to emphasise where global growth was emanating.
"Business expects further positive outcomes at the upcoming BRICS summit, particularly in the areas of agriculture and food security, information communication technology, energy and finance."
She said South African business was also to discussion about the merits of a BRICS development bank, which could positively impact the financing of infrastructure and facilitate trade within the BRICS bloc.
"Discussions on mechanisms for currency convertibility among the BRICS are also welcomed, but with a caution on pegging the rand to any other currency."