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South African President Warns Against Protectionism, Calls for Inclusive Growth at BRICS Summit

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has cautioned against the resurgence of protectionism and the adverse effects of unilateral measures, emphasizing the need for transparency and inclusiveness to ensure sustained economic growth. Addressing the BRICS Business Forum Leaders’ Dialogue, Ramaphosa praised the BRICS economies as influential drivers of global growth, noting their significant contributions to reshaping the global economic landscape.

He highlighted that BRICS nations collectively constitute a quarter of the global economy, trade, and over 40 percent of the world’s population. Stressing the importance of foreign investment in their growth, Ramaphosa warned that protectionism and unilateral actions conflicting with WTO rules pose threats to global development. He advocated for economic growth rooted in transparency and compatible with multilateral trade systems.

Ramaphosa also called for comprehensive reform of global financial institutions and applauded the New Development Bank, established by BRICS countries in 2015, for its adeptness in mobilizing resources for sustainable development. Addressing challenges in employment, equality, and poverty within BRICS nations due to rapid changes, he urged the business community to collaborate on solutions.

Ramaphosa extended an invitation to BRICS countries to invest in Africa, positioning it as the next frontier for growth, rich in critical minerals and untapped potential for various sectors like infrastructure, energy, and the digital economy.