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Brics leaders commit to ‘more active trade, investment co-operation’

The idea of the special trade and travel agreements is to encourage business deals between the member-countries while stimulating economic growth and development. Regulations and non-tariff barriers are often cited among the main impediments to faster economic co-operation and trade deals.

Brics Leaders Commit To ‘More Active Trade Investment Co Operation’

This comes on the back of recent media reports stating that South Africa’s 12-month-old stringent visa regulations have had negative consequences on the country’s tourism industry while at the same time also receiving praise for setting an example with visa regulations for business people.

"We do not have reciprocal arrangements and we are confident that the fact that we have taken the first step will lead to the others opening their doors to South African business people, as well with multi-year visas," said Brics Business Council SA chairman Brian Molefe.

Brics leaders held a summit in the Russian city of Ufa last week. It concluded on Friday.
The newly established Brics working group will have to address and solve deregulation issues in the coming months.

Mr Zuma told delegates that despite challenges, the Republic was investing "all efforts" to ensure that the environment was conducive for investments. Removing trade barriers would help Brics countries grow faster and create more jobs.

The Brics countries together have a combined gross domestic product of $33-trillion and accounted for 17% of global trade last year.

The Brics Business Council estimates that almost 3-million jobs need to be created every month within the grouping. Skills are lacking, however.

A summit highlight was that further steps were taken towards ensuring the full operation of the Brics’ New Development Bank. The bank’s board of governors held its inaugural meeting and the bank is expected to be fully operational before year-end.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said leaders had adopted a Brics economic partnership to help "foster favourable business environments". India proposed a trade fair to help expose businesses to opportunities.

Summit host, President Vladimir Putin, said leaders would also look at ways to have "special currency arrangements" to support trade among member countries.

Both business people and leaders stressed the importance of achieving quality education.

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