File image: Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies. (Photo: Leon Nicholas).
JOHANNESBURG - The 10th BRICS summit kicked off on Wednesday morning with a plenary session moderated by Lerato Mataboge, the deputy director general of the Department of Trade and Industry at the Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg.  

Bulelani Gratitude Magwanishe, Deputy Minister of the Department of Trade and Industry, delivered the opening remarks of the session, which was followed by Minister of Trade and Industry,  Rob Davies.

BRICS Business Council chairperson Dr. Iqbal Survé then addressed the delegates and media at the summit. 

The BRICS Business Council’s annual report is to be submitted to the BRICS heads of state today at the BRICS summit in Sandton. 

The first session of the day, t he role of BRICS in Trade and Investment facilitation amidst a changing global political economy. 

The first session of the day, the role of BRICS in Trade and Investment facilitation amidst a changing global political economy.
The session is being moderated by Nozipho Mbanjwa and the panel is made up by: 

  • South Africa: H.E Dr R. Davies, Minister of Trade & Industry, South Africa
  • Brazil: Mr Aloysio Nunes Ferreira, Minister of External Relations of Brazil
  • Russia: Mr Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation
  • India: Mr Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of India
  • China: Mr Zhong Shan, Minister of Commerce of the Peoples Republic of China
During the session,  Minister of Trade and Industry,  Rob Davies spoke about the trade war that the world finds itself in and how South Africa will be affected by it. 

Davies said, "The agenda offers opportunities for cooperation on industrial development and to boost productive capacity through diversification and beneficiation of resources. As we move towards larger and more integrated market, there is equally the need for adequate, effective, affordable and well-maintained infrastructure to support economic growth, attract investment and enhance service delivery."

Aloysio Nunes Ferreira, Minister of External Relations of Brazil, said, "We would like to listen to what our communities in our countries have to say. BRICS would like to increase growth and promote a greater interaction between the countries, trade and support all BRICS members."

"We are living at a time of enormous turbulence in the global trading system and indeed a moment of crisis for the global multilateral trading system," Davies told the BRICS business forum in Johannesburg marking the start of the group's 10th summit.

"I think what is clear to all of us is that this is a moment when we need  to strengthen and deepen the partnership between our countries."

He noted that BRICS had recently been a "disproportional source of global economic growth" and that the International Monetary Fund was predicting that the five-member union would over the next five years be responsible for more global economic growth than the G7 group of developed states.

"This is a significant grouping of countries in the world," Davies told the forum.