Brics Expansion Offers Opportunity To Boost African Trade, Say Experts

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brics expansion offers opportunity to boost african trade say experts

The expansion of the BRICS bloc offers African countries an opportunity to trade value-added and intermediate goods with the world and move away from the trade in raw commodities, according to experts at a BRICS roundtable.

In January, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates joined the emerging markets economic bloc originally comprised of founding members Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

At a business breakfast hosted by Brand South Africa and the South African chapter of the BRICS Business Council during the African Development Bank (AfDB) annual meetings in Nairobi in May, experts focused on how the expansion of BRICS to include five new countries offers an opportunity to bolster trade and investment in Africa.

The new formation, dubbed BRICS+, accounts for around 40% of crude oil production and exports, one-quarter of global GDP, two-fifths of global trade in goods, and nearly half of the worlds population, according to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Value addition key

Stavros Nicolau, a member of the BRICS Business Council in South Africa, highlighted the opportunities presented by the expansion. Nicolau emphasised that Africas trade deficit with both the original BRICS countries - particularly China - and the new additions can be addressed by adding value to raw materials and traded goods.