BRICS Expansion Offers Opportunity to Boost African Trade, Say Experts

Estimated read time 2 min read

The expansion of the BRICS economic bloc to include Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates presents significant opportunities for African trade, according to experts at a recent roundtable in Nairobi. This move could facilitate the continent’s shift from trading raw commodities to exporting value-added and intermediate goods.

The expansion, effective since January, integrates five new countries into the BRICS group, originally comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. This enlarged bloc, now termed BRICS+, commands substantial global economic influence, accounting for approximately 40% of crude oil production and exports, a quarter of global GDP, two-fifths of global trade in goods, and nearly half of the world’s population, as per the Boston Consulting Group.

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, the discussion focused on how BRICS+ could enhance trade and investment in Africa.

Stavros Nicolau, a member of the BRICS Business Council in South Africa, highlighted the potential benefits of this expansion. He emphasized that addressing Africa’s trade deficit with both the original BRICS countries and the new member states, particularly China, could be achieved by adding value to raw materials and traded goods. “The key lies in moving away from the export of raw commodities and instead focusing on value addition,” Nicolau stated.

Experts at the roundtable agreed that the inclusion of the new BRICS+ members could serve as a catalyst for Africa to diversify its export portfolio. The integration of these new economies, which hold significant geopolitical and economic sway, offers African countries an unprecedented opportunity to engage in more sophisticated forms of trade and investment. This, in turn, could lead to sustainable economic growth and development across the continent.

The roundtable underscored the strategic importance of strengthening intra-African trade and building robust value chains that can compete globally. By leveraging the expanded BRICS network, African nations can enhance their industrial capacities and create more competitive economies.

The experts at the Nairobi roundtable expressed optimism that the BRICS+ expansion would serve as a pivotal moment for Africa, enabling the continent to realize its full trade and economic potential. The focus on value addition and intermediate goods trade is seen as a crucial step towards achieving long-term economic sustainability and reducing the continent’s reliance on raw commodity exports.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours