BRICS SUMMIT UPDATES | Putin says BRICS works for 'global majority'

23 August 2023 - 09:33 By TimesLIVE
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Address by Standard Bank CEO Sim Tshabalala at the BRICS Business Forum Leaders Dialogue at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Address by Standard Bank CEO Sim Tshabalala at the BRICS Business Forum Leaders Dialogue at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Image: Freddy Mavunda © Business Day

23 August 2023 - 09:02

Inclusive supply chains a lesson from pandemic, India’s Modi tells Brics

The Covid-19 pandemic has taught the importance of resilience and inclusive supply chains, but for this mutual trust and transparency are key.

This is the opinion expressed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when addressing the closing session of the Brics Business Forum on Tuesday.

Modi believes countries ought to bring their strengths together to make significant contributions to the welfare of the world, especially the Global South.

23 August 2023 - 06:51

No consensus on de-dollarisation during Brics talks but Putin says process is ‘irreversible and gaining pace’

The discussions around de-dollarisation of Brics economies is up to the leaders after the Business Forum could not reach consensus on Tuesday.

The forum marked the start of the 15th Brics Summit being held in Sandton this week and was attended by entrepreneurs, policymakers, businesspeople and academics.

23 August 2023 - 06:00

Putin says BRICS works for 'global majority'

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the BRICS grouping of countries was on course to meet the aspirations of most of the world's population, according to recorded remarks at a summit of the BRICS countries in South Africa on Tuesday.

"We cooperate on the principles of equality, partnership support, respect for each other’s interests, and this is the essence of the future-oriented strategic course of our association, a course that meets the aspirations of the main part of the world community, the so-called global majority," Putin said.

The BRICS members - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - represent more than 40% of the world's population and the summit is expected to discuss adding new members, but he did not address that question in his remarks.

Putin was unable to attend the summit in person because of an arrest warrant issued for him in March by the International Criminal Court (ICC), accusing him of war crimes in Ukraine.

Russia rejected the accusation as outrageous and said the move had no legal meaning because it is not a member of the ICC. South Africa is a member, however, meaning it would have been obliged to arrest him if he had travelled there.

Putin said the summit would discuss in detail the question of switching trade between member countries away from the U.S. dollar and into national currencies, a process in which the BRICS' New Development Bank would play a big role.

"The objective, irreversible process of de-dollarization of our economic ties is gaining momentum," he said.

BRICS is an increasingly important forum for Russia at a time when its economy is grappling with Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine and it is looking to build new diplomatic and trade relations with Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Putin said Russia was looking to develop two flagship projects in particular - a northern sea route with new ports, fuel terminals and an expanded icebreaker fleet, and a north-south corridor connecting Russian ports with sea terminals in the Gulf and in the Indian Ocean.

He said Russia would remain a reliable food supplier to Africa and was finalising talks on providing free grain to a group of African countries, as he promised at a summit in St Petersburg last month.

The promise came after Russia pulled out of a deal that had enabled Ukraine to export grain from its Black Sea ports, and after it repeatedly bombed Ukrainian ports and grain stores, leading Kyiv and the West to accuse it of using food as a weapon of war.


22 August 2023 - 21:44

It’s time Africa redefined its role in global economy, Motsepe tells Brics summit

The African Rainbow Minerals chair and inaugural chair of the South African chapter of the Brics Business Council, Patrice Motsepe, says Africa needs to position itself as a market that creates products that the other Brics nations value. 

The billionaire was addressing the 15th annual Brics Summit in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The meeting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa is expected to take the bloc’s ambitions, to reshape the global economy, to the next level. 

22 August 2023 - 18:35

Flicker of light for SA as generators, gasoline, solar PV batteries and inverters make their way from China

Ten memoranda of understandings have been signed between the South African and Chinese governments, including the donation of emergency energy equipment worth R170m. 

Minister of electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa and his Chinese counterpart Luo Zhaohui exchanged letters detailing the donation during a signing ceremony at the Union Buildings on Tuesday afternoon. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Chinese President Xi Jinping witnessed the signing after holding bilateral talks earlier on Tuesday. 

22 August 2023 - 17:13

'SA is rising by the day': Xi Jinping praises Ramaphosa's administration

Under President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration, South Africa has risen to greater heights in its development and standing in the world.

This is what Chinese President Xi Jinping told his South African counterpart during a state visit to the Union Buildings on Tuesday.

22 August 2023 - 16:50

We must draw lessons from Brazil on coalitions, says Mantashe

ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe says there is a lot to learn from Brazil and its handling of coalition governments.

Mantashe said Brazil's management of coalition governments was of interest to the ruling party because the South American country has no majority party governing in its political landscape.

“There they piece together ideas of various parties and it gave us a very powerful lesson. What works there is mutual respect for each other. If you respect others and they do not respect you, that arrangement will not work. It is quite important for us to learn from Brazil,” he said.

22 August 2023 - 16:20

22 August 2023 - 16:12

Ethiopian group protest against their prime minister ahead of summit

Brics leaders have been urged to put an end to the alleged genocide against one of the largest Ethiopian ethnic groups by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Ahead of the start of the 15th Brics Summit on Tuesday, the All United Amhara Association in SA gathered at Innesfree Park with a long banner with Ahmed’s face crossed out with a black marker.

The group said the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner was allegedly committing genocide in the Amhara regions through drone attacks in recent weeks.

22 August 2023 - 15:56

Ramaphosa honours Chinese President Xi Jinping with Order of SA for his ‘principled commitment’

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday bestowed on Chinese President Xi Jinping the Order of South Africa.  

“This is an appreciation of the historic support of the People’s Republic of China for the liberation of South Africa. The strategic partnership between our two countries is evidenced by expansive economic co-operation as well as our shared commitment to a just, equitable and inclusive global order,” said director in the Presidency Phindile Baleni.  

22 August 2023 - 15:18

We are not in competition with G7, says Pandor ahead of Brics summit

South Africa's minister of international relations and cooperation Naledi Pandor says the Brics bloc is not competing with the large economies of G7 countries. Instead, it is fast cementing its own place in the geopolitical and geoeconomic space.

Pandor made the remarks as South Africa hosts the 15th Brics Summit in Johannesburg, which at least 60 heads of state are expected to attend.

22 August 2023 - 14:49

LISTEN | China donates emergency power equipment to help South Africa keep the lights on

The Chinese government has donated R170m in emergency power equipment and made available an approximately R500m grant as development assistance to alleviate South Africa's energy crisis.

This was revealed by President Cyril Ramaphosa during President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Tuesday.

“South Africa deeply appreciates China’s support in addressing our current energy challenges,” said Ramaphosa in his opening remarks. 

22 August 2023 - 14:29

Brazil's Lula says Brics not meant to challenge G7, US

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Tuesday the Brics group of emerging countries is not meant to challenge other international coalitions such as the G7 or the United States, but to "organise" the so-called Global South.

"We do not want to be a counterpoint to the G7, G20 or the United States," Lula said in a live broadcast on social media as he attends the Brics summit in South Africa.

"We just want to organise ourselves."


22 August 2023 - 14:16

South African rand jumps on falling US yields; Brics summit kicks off

South Africa's rand jumped 1% on Tuesday after some risk appetite returned to markets due to falling US Treasury yields, as the country kicked off the first day of the Brics summit of emerging economies in Johannesburg.

At 11:29 GMT, the rand traded at 18.7925 against the dollar , about 0.88% stronger than its previous close. The dollar last traded flat against major peers.

The rand jumped as much as 1% earlier in the day on the back of increased risk appetite as US Treasury yields fell, Danny Greeff, co-head of Africa at ETM Analytics, told Reuters.

"For the (rand) bulls to remain in charge of the market in the coming days, US Treasury yields would need to continue falling, or at least not rise further," Greeff added.

South Africa will host the leaders of Brazil, India and China for the Tuesday-to-Thursday summit, while Russian President Vladimir Putin will join virtually.

Putin is not travelling to South Africa because of an international arrest warrant for alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

The Brics summit "is unlikely to provide the market with significant or sustainable momentum until the bloc adopts implementable policies," Greeff said.

Leaders will consider expanding membership of the BRICS grouping, as some members hope to position the bloc as a counterweight to the West.

On the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the blue-chip Top-40 index was last trading around 0.6% higher from Monday's close.

South Africa's benchmark 2030 government bond was also firmer, with the yield down 5.5 basis points to 10.480%.


22 August 2023 - 13:52

Brics leaders called on to address Russia/Ukraine conflict at summit

Civil rights groups are calling for “bravery” from leaders attending the Brics summit to pressurise the Russian government to withdraw its troops from Ukraine instead of remaining silent about the conflict.

The Ukraine Association of South Africa, Amnesty International and the Helen Suzman Foundation gathered at Innesfree Park in Sandton to hold a peaceful demonstration before the summit on Tuesday morning.

22 August 2023 - 13:37

China 'determined' to deepen ties with South Africa - Xi

China's determination to deepen friendly and cooperative relations with South Africa will not change no matter how the world changes, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday in South Africa's Pretoria.

Xi is in South Africa for a state visit and to attend a Brics leaders' meeting from Aug. 22-24.


22 August 2023 - 12:37

Ramaphosa says South Africa and China have similar views on Brics expansion

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday during a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping that South Africa and China had similar views on the expansion of the membership of the Brics group of emerging economies.


22 August 2023 - 11:41

WATCH | Jay Z at Brics? No, but rapper’s song interrupts live stream of business forum summit

Jay Z's song December 4th made an unexpected appearance during the live stream of the Brics Business Forum which saw Brazilian finance minister Fernando Haddad drowned out by the lyrics by the American rapper.

22 August 2023 - 10:35

What does SA bring to the Brics table in relation to the other nations?

All eyes are on South Africa as the country plays hosts to the Brics Summit from Tuesday to Thursday.

The summit will be hosted at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are the founding members.

22 August 2023 - 10:15

Mr Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Head of Delegation for the Russian Federation is received by @DIRCO_ZA, Deputy Minister, Mr @alvinbotes as he arrives at the Waterkloof Airforce.

22 August 2023 - 09:21

Brazil finance minister: tax reform will be finalised this year

Brazil's finance minister Fernando Haddad said on Tuesday at the first day of a summit of the BRICS group of emerging economies that a tax reform that will restructure Brazil's complex consumption taxes will be finalised this year.

The reform, previously attempted by various administrations without success, is a key step in President Luiz Inacio Lula's plan to boost economic growth.


22 August 2023 - 07:05

What to expect from China’s state visit to South Africa

The South African and Chinese flags will by flying high at the Union Buildings as President Cyril Ramaphosa hosts President Xi Jinping on a state visit to Pretoria on Tuesday.

It will be the usual pomp and ceremony with Xi inspecting the guard of honour before going into a bilateral meeting with Ramaphosa and some members of his cabinet behind closed doors. Like all heads of state, Xi will also be respected with a 21-gun salute by the South African National Defence Force.

The visit is taking place ahead of the much-anticipated 15th Brics summit from Tuesday until Thursday at the Sandton Convention Centre where about 40 world leaders will come together to discuss economical and geopolitical matters. 

21 August 2023 - 20:43

TOM EATON | Ramaphosa has been building up to this week Brics by Brics

Those South Africans who still don’t see the point of belonging to the BRICs grouping were presented with a stunningly compelling argument on Monday, as Eskom’s fleet of power stations magically healed itself at the very moment the first delegates set foot in the country for this week’s summit.

Admittedly, the respite was temporary, with the morning’s mysteriously improved generating capacity suddenly falling away in the afternoon again; but this was obviously because the delegates had had long flights and needed to have a nap, and as anyone will tell you, not even the most powerful BRICs wizards can keep power stations running in their sleep.

21 August 2023 - 20:34

SA’s role as host of the Brics summit is fraught with dangers

South Africa is hosting the Brics summit this week.

In June, The Conversation published this article. At the time, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who had been indicted by the International Criminal Court, had indicated that he would attend the summit. After much deliberation, he announced last month that he would no longer be attending the summit but would do so virtually.

South Africa had the possibility of facing the wrath of its Brics partners if it had fulfilled its international obligation and arrests him. On the other hand, if it had not arrested him, it could have faced sanctions from those countries that want to see Putin tried for war crimes.

21 August 2023 - 17:31

SA to use Brics summit to push for own-currency trade

South Africa, which is hosting the 15th Brics summit in Johannesburg this week, will use the gathering to push for Brics countries to use their own currencies when trading with one another as a mechanism to push for the reform of global political and financial institutions.

This is not a new agenda but a continuation of previous Brics declarations and initiatives. For example, the Brics New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement were established in 2014 to provide alternative sources of financing and liquidity for Brics countries and other emerging economies.

But it is a call that has long been ignored by world superpowers, including the US, UK, France and Germany, who play a dominant role in global governance institutions such as the UN Security Council, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

21 August 2023 - 12:49

CINDY PEREIRA | In India and Brics South Africa can find hope and growth

As global divisions deepen, India’s economic might and its friendship with South Africa can galvanise Brics as a pillar of the emerging multipolar order when these countries and their allies meet in Johannesburg.

The bloc of developing economies has become more vital amid deteriorating relations between Russia and the Nato powers over Ukraine. In these unsettled times, India and South Africa have a unique relationship that can help steer Brics in promoting global stability and equitable growth.


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