BRICS Plus highlighted as key to cooperation

Xi calls on developing countries to help safeguard multilateral trading system

President Xi Jinping highlighted on Friday the importance of enhancing cooperation between BRICS members and other emerging markets as well as developing countries under the BRICS Plus mode.

While attending the BRICS outreach dialogue meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, Xi pointed out that it is of great significance for the emerging markets and developing countries to maintain unity and enhance cooperation at a time when these countries are facing similar opportunities and challenges.

BRICS Plus cooperation, created at last year’s Xiamen summit, was continued at the Johannesburg summit, with leaders of developing countries outside BRICS invited to join the dialogue.

The emerging markets and developing countries should boost understanding, support each other and build inclusive and cooperative partnership under the BRICS Plus mode, Xi said.

Developing countries should make full use of their complementarity to achieve innovative and inclusive development, Xi added.

The president also said the developing countries should jointly safeguard the multilateral trading system, build an open world economy and increase their representation on the global stage.

Developing countries should firmly uphold multilateralism, push the international order to develop in a fairer direction and jointly implement the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Xi said.

Last year, China, then holding the rotating chairmanship of BRICS, introduced the concept of BRICS Plus, which entails a dialogue with emerging markets and developing countries.

South Africa invited the leaders of nine African countries — Rwanda, Senegal, Gabon, Uganda, Ethiopia, Togo, Burundi, Namibia and Angola — to attend the Johannesburg summit as a part of its BRICS Africa Outreach Dialogue.

The outreach dialogue showcases maximum synergy between South Africa’s chairmanship of BRICS this year and that of China in 2017 to ensure BRICS support for African industrialization and infrastructure development, South African Ambassador to China Dolana Msimang said in a written interview response.

China’s relations with the African continent will be taken to a new level of cooperation through the BRICS Africa outreach agenda, analysts said.

Africa must be part of the emerging markets’ growth story and, ultimately, their development agendas, Sola David Borha, chief executive for Africa regions of Standard Bank Group, said in an article published on Thursday in the Zambia Daily Mail.

Africa-China trade is undisputedly the most important external economic dynamic for the African continent, and one that will only be enhanced through further Chinese investment and a deepening connection, Borha added.

BRICS leaders acknowledge the importance of infrastructure development and connectivity in Africa, according to the Johannesburg Declaration adopted by the 10th BRICS Summit on Thursday.