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The newly formed BRICS Business Council are holding a two-day meet in South Africa on 19th and 20th August with business and industry members from the five BRICS nations.
South African Industry Minister Rob Davies and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane attended the first day of the council meet on Monday, alongwith Chairperson of the BRICS Business Council, Patrice Motsepe.
Motsepe said on Monday that the council meet would look at ways to bring “a change in the quality of trade”.
Intra-BRICS trade stands at more than $360 billion and is expected to reach $500 billion by 2015.
BRICS are looking to step up industrialization and value addition to mineral and agriculture products, asserted Davies.
The council will identify specific initiatives “to increase trade, business, manufacturing and investment ties among the BRICS countries and between the BRICS countries and Africa,” Motsepe said in a statement before the meet began.
South African mining magnate Patrice Motsepe was chosen as the first chairperson of the BRICS Business Council.
The BRICS Bank and the BRICS Business Council are two of the first official institutions to be formed at the 5th BRICS Summit in Durban.
In a bid to include greater participation of the African Union, the BRICS Business Council has also invited business leaders from 19 other African countries to the maiden meet.
Zuma had asserted during the Summit in Durban this year that BRICS offers an amplified voice to emerging economies and the five nations need to “consolidate the gains of our coming together”.
“The BRICS forum offers member states the opportunity of an amplified voice for political, financial, economic and social interests around a common growth and development agenda based on our shared values,” said Zuma.
Claude Colart in Johannesburg for The BRICS Post