BELA BELA, SOUTH AFRICA, South African Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has urged young people to recommit themselves to the historic task of being agents of change and leading the reconstruction as well as the development of the country.

Young people must continue to be a force for progressive change and radical transformation, Zulu said when addressing the 4th BRICS Youth Summit in this resort town in the northern province of Limpopo Tuesday.

She said South Africa’s membership of the BRICS grouping, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, had been one of the key strategic partnerships of democratic South Africa and is a key platform for promoting South-South trade and investment.

BRICS partners share best practices and development models to address and combat these common challenges. More importantly, BRICS seeks to advance the restructuring of the global political, economic and financial architecture into one that is more equitable and balanced and which rests on the important pillar of multilateralism, she said.

According to the Minister, the BRICS nations accounted for 40 per cent of the world’s population. With a combined GDP of approximately 15 trillion US dollars, BRICS countries account for 19.3 per cent of the global gross global product; 42.7 per cent of the world’s population; and has contributed more than 50 per cent to the world economic growth during the last 10 years,” she added.

Intra-BRICS trade has grown from 567 billion USD in 2010 to 744 billion USD in 2017. South Africa-BRIC trade has grown from 28 billion USD to 35 billion USD over the same period, she said.

The Minister said both South Africa’s exports to and imports from other BRICS countries had grown at a rate faster than South Africa’s global trade, thus increasing the importance of other BRICS countries in South Africa’s trade basket.

Combined, the BRIC countries account for 15.4 per cent of South Africa’s global exports, and 25.4 per cent of the country’s imports. The key focus for BRICS should be to change the structure of our trade and promote value-added trade so as to contribute to the structural transformation of our economies, Zulu said.

She said the country’s high rate of unemployment and extreme inequality called for bold and far-sighted interventions. We are heartened to note that the contribution of Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) to the economy continued to increase despite the increasingly difficult economic conditions,” she said.

We are determined to strengthen the small business sector to enable it to occupy its rightful place in the mainstream economy and to demonstrate that Small Business is the Big Business of the future and working together we can indeed achieve more.

Source: NAM News Network