JOHANNESBURG- The business community on Saturday voiced support for the BRICS resolution to oppose protectionism and embrace rules based on multilateralism.
This came out at a high-level discussion in Johannesburg by government officials and captains of industry.
South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry Invest South Africa CEO Yunus Hoosen reiterated that protectionism should be rejected. “We support the outcomes of the BRICS summit with a commitment to work with partners to work together supporting multilateral to protect our policy space,” said Hoosen.
He also noted that in the past 16 years there has been a shift in the global trade from the North to the South.
BRICS is now a force to reckon in the global trade calling for other friendly countries to collaborate with them to build a better world.
He said, “We must be able to consolidate our position in the international world with fellow partners to accelerate our agenda on the multilateral system.”
Hoosen mentioned that BRICS are collaborating in intellectual property, regulations and trade promotion.
“We have to work with BRICS members and emerging economies on common positions like the WTO, inclusive agenda that seek to protect our policy space and promote industrialization.”
The meeting was attended by officials from high commissioners and embassies of countries including Russia, India, South Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia and Syria. Hoosen invited the countries to exploit the opportunities which exist in the collaboration with BRICS countries.
South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) President Zeph Ndlovu stated that multilateralism and open market is the way to go.
Addressing the gathering, he said they will never support unilateralism and protectionism.
“We are part of BRICS and G20 and it is important for us to espouse multilateralism. We do not support protectionism as seen in the U.S. It is counterproductive, counterrevolutionary and counter progressive. No man is an island and we dare not promote that. Let us hold our hands together,” said Ndlovu.
He said that as part of the “league of nations” and business they promote interrelations with other countries of the world.
Ndlovu pointed out that they respect the open free market system espoused in the UN protocol.
He also pointed out that as SACCI they are members of the International Chamber of Commerce, UN and other international organizations and they support the rules based on open market system.
Ndlovu did not mince his words saying “protectionism has to be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.”
Pan African Chamber of Commerce marketing and communications Director Kudzai Muchechetere also supported multilateralism.
“We do not support policies which are inward looking. Protectionism is selfish. We support open market. We want Africa to trade with itself and the world to allow the economies to grow,” she said.
She also expressed support for rules based on global trade with countries of the world.
Source: Ghana News Agency