South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma on Thursday sang the praises of fellow BRICS member states, recommitted the country to the group, and discussed the benefits of membership.
“Since joining BRICS, trade has grown exponentially,” said Zuma as he heaped praise on fellow BRICS members Brazil, Russia, India and China.
The president from the group’s smallest economy thanked his counterparts Vladimir Putin, Dilma Rousseff, Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping during a press statement and document-signing session at the 2015 BRICS/SCO (Shangai Cooperation Organisation) summit in Ufa, Russia.
“In 2011, South Africa’s trade with BRICS countries was R268 billion,” said Zuma, “In 2014, there was an increase to R382 billion.”
In recommitting South Africa to BRICS objectives, Zuma highlighted issues of security, bridging the digital divide, and immigration.
Zuma said the rise of international and local threats to peace and security, namely terrorism and transnational organised crime, required strengthened partnership and cooperation between BRICS nations.
BRICS nations, according to Zuma, also needed to better cater for the approximately two-thirds of the world’s population who were without access to the internet.
He thanked his four counterparts for their “solidarity” in regards to the deaths of Af