Strengthening relations was the order of the day for Alina Doskanova from Russia, Zhenying Liu from China, South Africa’s Happy Sithole, and Shobha Mishra Gosh and Anand Mohan Jha from India, as they landed in Durban this weekend. Picture: Sbusiso Ndlovu
Strengthening relations was the order of the day for Alina Doskanova from Russia, Zhenying Liu from China, South Africa’s Happy Sithole, and Shobha Mishra Gosh and Anand Mohan Jha from India, as they landed in Durban this weekend. Picture: Sbusiso Ndlovu
Durban - From skills development to specialised computing and agribusiness, Durban is teeming with some of the world’s leading experts in their fields as they get ready for the BRICS Business Council, which takes place in the city this weekend.

The council is made up of officials from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

It is chaired by Sekunjalo chairman Dr Iqbal Survé and precedes the BRICS summit to be held in Johannesburg next week.

In Durban, key discussions on trade, sanitation and skills development are expected to be held at the meeting.

Flying in from Brazil, Rodrigo Dora, chairman of the BRICS agribusiness working group, said he always enjoyed visiting Durban. “I’ve been here before and it’s always amazing. The weather is great and the people are very nice.

“One of the topics I will be involved in is facilitating standards for sanitation between the BRICS countries in agribusiness.

“We should create a seal of best practices for sustainability and food security,” he said.

Flying in late yesterday evening, Anand Mohan Jha, head of India International Skill Centre, said he would be involved in discussions on the future of industries in the fourth revolution and what skills would be needed.

So, too, would Happy Sithole, director for the Centre of High Performance Computing at the CSIR.

“We will be looking at what skills are needed for us to move forward. We have a significant investment in highperformance equipment, and we are discussing what more can be done in producing the skills needed by industry.

“There is synergy between the BRICS countries on skills development,” he said.

Survé said: “Through Brics we have access to the global market, and access to capital. Our government debt is 51.7% of the GDP, most of the country’s budget goes to servicing that debt and investing in infrastructure. Therefore, because we are constrained we cannot invest in new opportunities to create jobs. But, our partners in Brics who have the capital are able to invest to create jobs.”

He added that the Business Council played a crucial role in ensuring that SA channelled foreign direct investment from across the world, but mostly from Brazil, Russia, India and China.