Brics summit

CNC reporting from Durban
Added On March 27, 2013

The fifth BRICS summit is taking place in South Africa's coastal city of Durban, the first time it's been held on African soil.

CNC takes a look.

DEVELOPMENT BANK TO BE SET UP

The BRICS group,namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, represents about 40 percent of the world's population, nearly a fifth of global gross domestic product, and 17 percent of world trade.

The two-day summit brings together leaders from the five nations, as well as those from the African Union and other African nations.

On Tuesday, the first day of the meeting, Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei confirmed that BRICS nations had agreed to establish a development bank to fund infrastructure in the five emerging economies.

The bank will follow the models of, for instance, the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

But, Lou said, finance ministers have not decided on the details, including initial investment from each country to the bank.

The establishment of a BRICS development bank is warmly welcomed by business circles in Africa.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) KUSENI DLAMINI, Chairman, Times Media Group, SA:
"Excellent idea it's going to open up new opportunities for African countries to source of aid and development funding for lots of projects it will also help countries to to solely depend on the World Bank and other western country institutions for their financial governance."

BRICS members are betting on their growing economies and the goodwill among the majority of developing economies to bring a new global economic order.

The member countries are also seeking to tilt the global trade.

They pledge to trade more amongst themselves and ease dependence on European and United States markets that have stringiest market entry requirements.

BRICS leaders are expected to discuss a foreign reserves pool and development in Africa.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) PRAVIN GORDHAN, South African Finance Minister:
"It will signal to both BRICS countries and the world that as a formation we becoming a bit solid and what we can do to create a stronger partnership amongst ourselves and remember the theme include the African continent."

Meanwhile, BRICS trade and commerce ministers have expressed concerns over the current global economy and denounced trade protectionism,

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE) CHEN JIAN, Chinese Vice Commerce Minister:
"(Ministers) have expressed concerns over many uncertainties amid the recovery of the global economy. We have unanimously denounced trade protectionism under such circumstances and competitive currency devaluation."

CHINA, BRAZIL SIGN ECONOMIC AGREEMENTS

During the talks, China and Brazil signed agreements aimed at boosting economic cooperation between the two countries.

Chinese Finance Minister, Lou Jiwei, and his Brazilian counterpart, Guido Mantega, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Cooperation on Macroeconomic, Fiscal and Financial Policies.

The two also signed a three-year currency swap deal to broaden access to financial resources, despite the slow global economic recovery.

The deal involves 190 billion Renminbi and 60 billion reais -- about 30 billion U.S. dollars...

While initially a bilateral deal only, Mantega says the arrangement could be expanded to cover other countries within the BRICS bloc.

CHINA, S AFRICA SIGN INVESTMENT DEALS

Transnet, a South African state-owned transport company, and China Development Bank on Tuesday signed an agreement on upgrading infrastructure projects.

The cooperation includes the upgrade of railway and port infrastructure and the localization of equipment manufacturing.

South Africa's national oil company PetroSA and the China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation also signed a deal on crude oil project as China seeks to safeguard its energy supply.

South African President Jacob Zuma, his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and South African Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba have witnessed the signing of the series of bilateral cooperation agreements.