There is more for South Africa in BRICS

Since joining BRICS, South Africa has enjoyed both trade and diplomatic benefits both regionally and internationally. However, South African Ambassador to BRICS Anil Sooklal says South Africa can further use the multilateral platform to deal challenges such as unemployment, poverty and inequality.

“We are now ten years into the BRICS family, entering a second decade of cooperation and I believe not enough is being done”, he said.

South Africa joined the BRICS formation in 2011, becoming the fifth member of the group constituting of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

“We became part of BRICS as of 2011 when China hosted its summit, we then in 2013 hosted the first summit and South Africa was very clear on what we wanted from BRICS, we went into that summit with a clear strategy that was approved by cabinet”, he said speaking at the BRICS roundtable held in Pretoria on Monday.

BRICS launched its first institution in 2014, the New Development Bank established to fund developmental projects in BRICS countries.

Sooklal says the geopolitical group also intends to establish its own credit rating agency that will serve the needs of the global south and other emerging economies.

“We are exploring the possibility and its still in its exploratory stage to see a credit rating agency coming from the south, because as you would know all of the established rating agencies are from the north”, he told the Mail&Guardian.

The prospective rating agency is said to challenge the three pro-west dominant credit rating agencies Fitch, Moody’s and S&P global rating.

He said that at the seventh BRICS summit hosted by Russia in 2014, members shared the sentiment that there should be a rating agency that would look more holistically at some of the challenges emanating from the south.

Ambassador Sooklal said that South Africa was excited to host the 10th BRICS summit which is set to take place in Johannesburg in July this year.

Some of the agenda items expected to be discussed at the summit include advancement of South Africa’s national interest, the African Union agenda, deeping south-south relations and how to further deepen geopolitical interests.

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Thulebona Mhlanga
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