As the host of BRICS 5th Summit, South Africa is getting a lot of attention. And rightly so say Standard Bank Group economists Goolam Ballin and Simon Freemantle. Last year, South Africa’s exports to emerging markets had grown by almost 50% over 10 years.
South Africa trade with BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) trade surged more than ten-fold from around US$3.2-billion to US$37-billion.
When it comes to the rest of Africa, South Africa’s trade touched US$35-billion in 2012. Nearly half of South Africa’s total exports to Africa are comprised of value-added capital goods such as machinery, vehicles and electronic equipment.
South Africa has also been the largest import partner for nine out of the 13 current Southern African Development Community (SADC) and more than 50 large JSE-listed firms are active in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique.
When it comes to the BRICS group, South Africa offers logistical access to many markets on the continent, especially the increasingly deepening SADC market. In addition, there is profound legal, financial and management support to firms looking to build a wider Pan-African presence.
Significant deals have already been signed on the sidelines of the summit and the announcement yesterday that a BRICS bank will be formed is an even greater opportunity for South Africa because of its key geopolitical and commercial importance.