Durban to host Brics summit
Durban: Durban will host the influential Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, SA) summit in March next year. The annual summit brings together the heads of state of the powerful economic bloc of emerging nations as well as huge government and business delegations from the five member countries. KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize made the announcement during an address to 250 captains of industry at the annual KZN Growth Coalition business breakfast in Durban on Tuesday.
“President Jacob Zuma has asked the province to host this major event and we have agreed. This is an incredible honour, especially since SA is the newest member of this important economic and political bloc of nations,” he said. “ International summits like these provide excellent marketing opportunities,” he said.
Department of International Relations spokesman Clayson Monyela said the dates of the summit, the fifth, were yet to be finalised. This year’s summit took place in Delhi in April.
SA’s hosting of the summit would also see a Brics international development bank being launched at the event. The Brics countries provide a combined market of about 2.9 billion people.
“If one considers that the world population is estimated at seven billion people, then this bloc gives us access to almost half the population of the world,” said Mkhize.
“Our province is home to more than 10 million people and is located on the eastern seaboard of our country, sharing borders with three countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). As we speak, the SADC is working with other African regional bodies and has agreed to form Africa’s biggest free trade bloc,” he said.
“I urge all KZN-based businesses and entrepreneurs to work with the government to ensure that we are able to access this market,” he said.
* The Mercury