• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
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SA rallies Nigerian businesses for BRICS’ multi-sectoral investments

SA rallies Nigerian businesses for BRICS’ multi-sectoral investments

The South African Consulate in Lagos has urged Nigerian businesses to take advantage of South Africa’s hosting of the regional economic group, BRICS, an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, this August.

Bobby Moroe, consul-general of the Lagos Consulate made the call at a roundtable with the Nigerian business community with the theme, “Promoting Regional and Continental Trade through African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and BRICS” in Lagos.

According to him, while South Africa is currently the only African member of the BRICS, it is hosting on behalf of the entire continent.

Moroe said Nigeria as well as other African countries will also benefit immensely from participating in the meeting as countries on the continent share similar challenges, which require similar solutions.

While emphasising the importance of collaboration of all countries in the Southern part of the globe, Moroe said:

“In the post-COVID-19 world order, South-South cooperation has become very important. The socio-economic and political challenges faced by South Africa are no different from the challenges that are facing the entire continent. So, whatever it is that we advance at the level of BRICS formation, we advance not only on behalf of South Africa, but on behalf of the rest of the continent.

“As we prepare to host the BRICS summit in August, we call upon you as a country. We call upon you as the relevant stakeholders to take advantage of our membership and participate fully.”

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Speaking on why Nigeria’s participation is important, Busi Mabuza, chairperson of the BRICS Business Council, said Nigeria’s participation at the BRICS meeting is important because the country is the largest on the African continent in terms of economy and population size.

“Nigeria is an economy that we can’t ignore. And as South Africa, we are aware that other countries have an interest not just in South Africa, but the entire continent. Because of the size of Africa’s population of 1.2 billion people, and the relatively low GDP, there is a huge opportunity for growth in Africa. Therefore, anybody with a long-term investment view, wants to be on this continent.

“Now, the African Union, of course, declared the African continental free trade area, which if implemented, should increase the trade opportunity for us, amongst each other. It is very important for South Africa, that Nigeria which is an anchor on the western side of the continent, is at the same side of the table with us as we sit in August under South Africa’s gesture and engage the BRIC partners on what it is that we would like to achieve for the next 10 years,” Mabuza said.

On his part, Greg Munyai, economic counsellor at the South African High Commission, Abuja, said the meeting in Lagos was significant because it helped to strengthen bilateral relations between Nigeria and South Africa, and as well highlighted the opportunities for collaborations through the BRICS and AfCFTA platforms.

He also emphasised that the participation of Nigerian business as the BRICS meeting would be a great benefit for the country and the continent, which was why an awareness had to be created in Nigeria about the August meeting in South Africa.

Jimmy Ranamane, general manager, Global Markets at Brand South Africa encouraged business delegates attending the Business Roundtable to lead in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, and also called on Nigerian business to attend the BRICS Business Forum, which for the first time has been opened to delegates from other countries in the African continent.