South Africa will host a four-day trade fair alongside the BRICS Summit in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with the leaders of Brazil, China and the host country will gather here later this month. The BRICS bloc – comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – brings together five of the largest developing countries of the world, representing 41 percent of the global population, 24 percent of the global GDP and 16 percent of the global trade.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will participate virtually in the Summit, to be held from August 22-24, due to an ICC warrant that would have obliged South Africa to arrest him if he came in person. The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, together with the South African BRICS Business Council, will host the BRICS Trade Fair at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand from August 19-23.
The exhibition will serve as a platform for showcasing products and services from the BRICS countries as well as business-to-business interaction aimed at increasing intra-BRICS trade and investment, the Department said in a recent statement. The fair will be officially opened by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel together with his BRICS counterparts on August 19.
Sectoral sessions which will be hosted include energy cooperation; accelerating infrastructure development through government business and private partnerships, and embracing the digital economy for transformation and advancement. The sessions will also have BRICS dialogue on airlift strategy; the importance of skills for emerging and future jobs; oceans economy high-level dialogue; pandemic preparedness; and Africa’s economic place in the BRICS alliance.
The sessions will be hosted by the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency. Gauteng province, though the smallest of the nine in South Africa, is the economic hub of the country. Exhibitors from the other BRICS partners will join their South African counterparts to showcase their products and services. Among the sectors at this exhibition will be agriculture and agro-processing, manufacturing, automotive, pharmaceuticals, energy and energy infrastructure.
South Africa is the current chair of the BRICS — a grouping of heavyweights that also includes Brazil, Russia, India and China. It will host the 15th BRICS Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg under the theme: ‘BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism’. The summit will be preceded by the Inward Buying and Investment Missions from Brazil, Russia, India and China that will take place in Gauteng, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal from Aug 13-23; the official opening of the BRICS Trade Fair on Aug 19; and the BRICS Business Forum at Sandton Convention Centre on August 22.