South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently lauded the nation’s membership in the BRICS group, underscoring the economic and political advantages it has brought to the country. During a session in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), President Ramaphosa expressed his support for South Africa’s continued participation in BRICS and highlighted the substantial benefits derived from this membership.
The BRICS Plus Coalition and South Africa’s Role
The BRICS group, now referred to as the BRICS Plus coalition, has expanded by welcoming six new member nations: Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. South Africa, one of the original BRICS members, plays an integral role in this dynamic group. President Ramaphosa stated that “we, as a country, have benefitted a great deal [through] the association with other BRICS countries.”
China, a fellow BRICS member, has become South Africa’s largest trading partner, and this partnership has been significantly reinforced through BRICS membership. President Ramaphosa emphasized that BRICS offers more than just political engagement; it encompasses economic development, trade expansion, technology exchange, and various other areas that advance humanity. South Africa’s trade with BRICS countries has seen substantial growth, largely due to its membership. In essence, the economic benefits of being part of BRICS are evident.
The Expanding BRICS Coalition
President Ramaphosa acknowledged the recent expansion of the BRICS coalition, from its original five members to eleven, and highlighted the potential for further growth. This expansion carries significant implications, particularly for the Global South, and underscores BRICS’ increasing influence on global matters. The president also revealed that many countries are expressing interest in joining BRICS, indicating that BRICS continues to grow both economically and politically.
Importance of the BRICS Forum
As President Ramaphosa put it, “BRICS is the great attraction that many countries now see for development.” South Africa aims to maintain BRICS as an important forum and partnership, advancing countries associated with or part of the coalition. The president noted that BRICS membership also carries economic benefits on the home front, such as hosting the BRICS Summit, which attracts visitors who contribute to the local economy by spending money in South Africa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s endorsement of South Africa’s BRICS membership sheds light on the significant advantages it brings to the nation. Economic growth, trade expansion, and political influence are among the key benefits derived from South Africa’s participation in the BRICS group. Furthermore, the expanding BRICS coalition continues to be a magnet for countries seeking to harness the forum’s potential for development and cooperation on a global scale. As South Africa and other BRICS members continue to engage with this dynamic group, the future holds promise for enhanced economic and political cooperation.
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