The Brics Business Council to be held in KwaZulu-Natal this month is a perfect opportunity to show off Durban and lead to massive opportunity for investment, The Mercury reported on Monday.
“This a fantastic opportunity to showcase Durban”, said Dr Iqbal Survé, the chairperson of the South African chapter of the council.
Brics membership is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The BRICS Business Council is scheduled to meet in KwaZulu-Natal from July 22-23, before the 10th Brics summit in Gauteng from July 25-27.
According to The Mercury, with 100 dollar billionaires coming to Durban, this was an opportunity to meet President Cyril Ramaphosa’s $100billion investment goal to boost the economy, said Survé.
“There will be a special three-hour meeting where the special envoys have been invited, and South Africa will present the case for inward investment in the country and Southern Africa.
“We will have massive corporates here and they will have the opportunity to look at South Africa as an investment destination,” the newspaper reported Survé to have said.
Survé further told the publication that for developing countries, it was crucial that the global economy was not dominated by one or two countries.
“It is very important for South Africa as a country and in our position in Africa as a region to have a new voice in the new world.
“Trade will be about who is going to dominate technology in the future. It is crucial for the country to build its technology sector,” he said.
On his role as chairperson of the SA chapter of the council, Survé said he remained passionate about empowering young South Africans and ensuring they acquire the skills to thrive in the technology sector.
Through Brics, co-operation in the areas of science, technology and innovation had been encouraged through various initiatives. Recently, a BRICS Action Plan for Innovation Co-operation (2017-2020) was formalised to allow practical mechanisms to be implemented.
Survé said 66% of South Africa’s population was under the age of 35, and 60% of these young South Africans were unemployed.
“We need to use this technology skills transfer to upskill young people, because they are dynamic and all they need is an opportunity to develop their skills. Through Brics, Africa has an opportunity to become a global technology base.”
Dr Survé said that for this to happen there needed to be an injection in capital, and for technological skills to be transferred to developing countries.
“The Americans and Europeans are not willing to share this knowledge, and it is up to the Brics countries to grow this sector that will lead to technological advancements.
“This will allow for service economies and technology driven economies,” Dr Survé said.
Sihle Zikalala, the KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, said the hosting of the Brics Business Council augured well for the strategy to continue to attract more investment.
“The world is experiencing a slow recovery from the financial crisis, and Brics is a proper platform for engagement on how to grow the economy and ensure investment.”
Zikalala said KZN would be offered the platform to present opportunities for investment at a number of sessions.
This story first appeared in The Mercury and IOL