BRICS is a forerunner - Russia Day 2024

Russian Ambassador Ilya Rogachev and South African Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams raising a toast (photo: TDS)

TDS

18 June 2024

Russia is Chair of BRICS this year and will host the BRICS Summit in Kazan in October. At the celebration of Russia’s national day in Pretoria, Ambassador Ilya Rogachev said that BRICS today is much more than a grouping of like-minded states, it supports the process of establishing a polycentric world order based on independence, sovereignty and consensus decision making. The countries have respect for each other’s history, culture and traditions as opposed to imposing one’s will on another. 

BRICS is exactly the model of efficient cooperation between states. During South Africa’s presidency last year, at the successful Summit in Johannesburg, a historical decision was taken to expand BRICS membership resulting in many countries applying and five countries joining.
 
"In a sense BRICS is a forerunner of this new world which is proved by the fact that there are a growing number of countries that are lining up to join the grouping. The aggregate GDP of the BRICS countries exceeds the G7 by 3%. and it currently accounts for 33% of the global GDP. The number of BRICS countries in the G20 has also increased,” said Rogachev. 

South Africa will host the G20 Summit next year of which Russia is a member. Ambassador Rogachev said that Russia stands ready to assist in any way and looks forward to be represented at all levels. As Chair of G20, South Africa will host a summit of heads of state and government as well as organise and chair about 200 meetings of ministers and officials. 

The Russian Federation carries out an active foreign policy in favour of a just multi polar global architecture based on the principles of sovereignty, and sovereign equality of states, respect for the interests of others and for cultural, civilizational diversity, Rogachev said. Russia is unique with more than a thousand years of history and rich cultural heritage. This vast country stretches over eleven time zones and is home to hundreds of ethnic groups and followers of the world’s major religions.

Despite global economic uncertainty, Russia’s economy keeps expanding steadily with a surge in GDP to 5.4% in the first quarter of 2024. Russia’s national debt is currently one of the lowest in the world, Rogachev noted.   

Russia recently hosted the 27th Saint Petersburg International Forum (SPIEF) that brought together delegates from 139 countries and regions. The four day forum featured 400 business events including seminars, dialogues and panel discussions, covering topics ranging from global economic transition to advanced technology development. 

One of the key foreign policy vectors that Russia took over from the Soviet Union is building friendly cooperation with the African continent, said Rogachev.  An addition to the annual Russia-Africa Summit , a new dialogue format - the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum Conference - has recently been established at the level of Foreign Ministers to regularly exchange insights on the status of  implementation of decisions taken at the Summit. 

With regards to relations with South Africa, Rogachev and South African Minister of Small Business Development, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, the guest of honour at the event, agreed that there is great potential to expand economic, trade and investment ties between the two countries.  

Rogachev said that tremendous opportunities can be unlocked, especially in the energy and IT sectors to the benefit of both countries. Other sectors including agriculture, tourism and sports are continually expanding.


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