Pres Zuma in Brazil for BRICS summit

Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma, who is already in Brazil, will join leaders from Brazil, Russia, India and China, which make up the BRICS grouping, for their sixth summit.

Accompanied by five cabinet ministers, as well as a business delegation, President Zuma will attend the two-day summit on Tuesday.

The summit will be held under the theme ‘BRICS – Inclusive growth: Sustainable solutions’- which is in line with South Africa’s priorities over the next five years.

The leaders will discuss other issues regarding global governance and peace and security, the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) and reports on progress towards the establishment of the BRICS-led New Development Bank (NDB).

The group is considering setting up a development bank and emergency reserve fund, challenging the western-run global financial framework that’s been in place since the end of World War II.

The five economies are expected to sign off on the new institutions after two years of tough negotiations.

The BRICS will pool an initial $50 billion dollars for the bank, with each country contributing an equal amount, and seek to gain influence by offering developing nations an alternative to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

In their last summit, the leaders had instructed the ministers to work on technical details around the setting up of the bank, which will spearhead infrastructure development in BRICS member states and other developing nations.

The BRICS will also set up a $100 billion contingency pool, which could be available by 2015 to help any of its members if they are hit by a sudden loss of foreign capital.

The sixth BRICS summit will be the first to be hosted in the second cycle of BRICS summits. South Africa hosted the fifth BRICS summit in Durban, last year.

During South Africa’s tenure as chairperson, substantive progress was achieved in anchoring the new BRICS mechanisms that were launched at the fifth summit.

These include the BRICS Business Council and the BRICS Think Tanks Council.

Reports will be submitted to the sixth BRICS summit on the work undertaken by these structures.