The 15th BRICS Business Forum took place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on Tuesday, August 23.
Various business leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa discussed burning issues that the economic bloc needs to address and ways to progress the group’s objects.
Here are the five key takeaways from the engagement:
Unlocking trade and investment opportunities
Leaders said they are optimistic about BRICS’ future as long as trade and investment is increased drastically and ties between the nations are strengthened.
When it comes to the economy, Sergey Katyrin, chair of the Russian Chapter, said he hopes that BRICS reaches 50% of the global GDP by 2050 and that would be a completely different picture on the global scene.
Investing in agriculture
When it comes to agriculture, leaders said the use of technology to modernise and simplify the agricultural business would not only give better food security, but would also assist to reduce prices and de-carbonise the planet, perhaps making Africa the world’s food basket.
Jai Shroff, the global chief executive of UPL and India’s BRICS Business Council member, discussed how climate change has impacted the industry the most.
He stated that if BRICS could take the lead in rewarding farmers for sustainable conduct, the world's efforts to de-carbonise would see a major shift.
Creating a green economy and jobs
A panel discussion was held in order to produce a transition and make the economy more green, to develop eco-friendly jobs, and to assure the transition to a low-carbon and sustainable one.
According to Nishant Arya, vice chairman of JBM Group in India, this is an appropriate time because the Asian country's electric car market is rapidly expanding.
Empowering entrepreneurs and small and mid-size enterprises
Entrepreneurs from the BRICS nations came forward about their experiences in entrepreneurship. The economic alliance wants to unlock intra-market access to catalyse entrepreneurship within the economic bloc.
They emphasised that a just and fair regulatory environment needs to be created in order for entrepreneurs and small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) to thrive.
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)
Political unrest in a number of African countries continues to be a key issue as the BRICS states seek to open up new markets through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Political stability was said to be critical in fostering market certainty and predictability across the continent.
The speakers discussed how to strengthen BRICS coordination and collaboration to support the AfCFTA momentum, as well as the role that a successful AfCFTA may play in transforming trade, investment, and development dynamics for Africa.