Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. File photo

CAPE TOWN  - South Africa Trade and Industry  Minister Rob Davies on Tuesday announced the newly appointed South African Brics Business Council which is set to promote and strengthen trade and investment ties among the BRICS countries.

The BRICS countries are Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

The new BRICS Business Council is made up of five members with extensive business experience, both locally and internationally. Busi Mabuza, Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba, Bridgette Radebe, Dr Stavros Nicolaou and Elias Monage make up the SA BRICS Business Council which replaces the previous council which was established during the fifth BRICS summit held in March 2013 in Durban.

The appointments follow engagements between the department of trade and industry and organised business, following the minister's request that members of the new Council be nominated from structures within the two apex business associations, the Black Business Council and Business Unity South Africa.

"It is imperative that the SA BRICS Business Council is located within the ambit of organised business in South Africa and is appropriately representative and accessible to all business," said Davies.

Addressing the media following the extensive engagement between Minister Davies and the council in Parliament, chair of the council, Busi Mabuza, committed to taking forward South African business interests through the council’s activities. She further committed to the council’s work being supportive of SMME participation and new business, thus contributing to an inclusive economy.

“We look forward to assisting in ensuring that the working groups are representative and inclusive of business organisations as well relevant business entities and that they actively articulate business, sectors and organisational interests in the interest of furthering trade and investment objectives of the nation. We believe that this is pivotal to the success of the BRICS Business Council’s mandate,” said Mabuza.

According to the trade and industry department, a core component of the BRICS Business Council is the nine working groups that span the five participating countries.

These include agribusiness, the digital economy, financial services, energy and green economy among others. 

According to Mabuza, one of the key focus areas in the short term would be to ensure that the working group programmes and activities were strategically aligned and relevant to support the advancement of business interests.

South Africa is currently the global chair of the BRICS Business Council, which will be handed over to Brazil, at the BRICS Business Council Midterm Meeting in April in Johannesburg.

- African News Agency (ANA)