- Sputnik Africa, 1920
2023 BRICS Summit in Johannesburg
The 15th BRICS summit will take place from August 22-24 in Johannesburg, South Africa, which assumed the rotating BRICS presidency in January 2023.

SA Investment Agency CEO Talks BRICS Significance & Common Goals

© Sputnik . -Saki Zamxaka, Gauteng Growth and Development Agency CEO
Saki Zamxaka, Gauteng Growth and Development Agency CEO - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 23.08.2023
Saki Zamxaka, CEO of the South Africa's Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, made the remarks on the sidelines of the 15th BRICS Summit, which is being held in Johannesburg on August 22-24.
BRICS is a significant bloc, which has influence on the international arena, Saki Zamxaka, Gauteng Growth and Development Agency CEO told Sputnik Africa.
"Everyone has been talking about how it [BRICS] accounts for almost 40% of the world's population. So it's a significant block. It's now about the same size as G7 economies and is now slightly higher than them. It's an important bloc that can have a voice in international politics, which would be different with the country negotiating on its own," Zamxaka stressed.
The official stated that it is vital to have a world order which takes into account "different voices."

"It's important to have a multilateral world that listens to different voices. And a lot of these [BRICS] economies, however big they are, they still remain developing if you look at their GDP per capita. There are a lot of commonalities about getting rid of poverty, addressing unemployment, fair trade around the world and equitable distribution of wealth. There are common goals, and we're happy to see this movement growing and the countries working together, as with many others of these trade and other platforms," the CEO said.

According to Zamxaka, South Africa’s BRICS membership gives many opportunities for export, the bloc's market is already "big” and going to become larger as the new members are to join.

"South Africa from the size of the economy to the population has the smallest economy and the smallest population within the BRICS countries that offers an opportunity for us to export. […] There's a big, big benefit for South Africa to trade with countries that combined [have] almost 3 billion [of the] population. And now we have new members that are applying to come. So it's a big market for South Africa," he noted.

Naledi Pandor, South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation addresses a media conference on the second day of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Foreign Ministers Meeting in Cape Town, on June 02, 2023 - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 23.08.2023
2023 BRICS Summit in Johannesburg
BRICS Agree on Principles of Expansion, Adopt Document, SA Foreign Minister Says
Speaking about intra-African trade relations, he stated that the fact that already 47 nations have so far ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement indicates their commitment to carry out intra-continental trade.

"Multilateral agreements generally take time not only to sign but to get into effect where they are implemented at a country level and they make changes on a day to day basis. And I think the Africa Free Trade Area Act will as well take its own time. But the positive thing is that when the countries are committed, it shows that there is will to implement Intra-Africa trade and do as best as they can to remove trade barriers," Zamxaka emphasized.

He further noted that many African nations would be eager to carry out trade in national currencies, thus downgrading market instability which may follow with the use of western currencies.

"I think many countries will be happy to trade in their own currency because it brings a bit of stability or have a currency that doesn't open themselves to, at times, market sentiments that are Western driven, where it's not even the fundamentals of the economy that are an issue," he stated.

The CEO also stressed that as the use of the foreign currencies may be sometimes dictated by geopolitics, some nations are seeking politics-free conditions for their currencies' utilization.
"I think a lot of the discomfort about, some of the dominant currencies have been that at times there's almost a political premium into using them. And it would be just to be in a world where the trade is not as much impacted by geopolitics. I think a lot of African countries are looking forward to an environment where there is a platform for settlements amongst the different countries that is not too volatile. So, a world where there isn't dominance in one currency is a world that I think is going to benefit the continent a lot," he noted.