“These actions are accompanied by growing disdain for multilateralism and global trade rules.”
The South African Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, told the BRICS Business Council meeting in Durban South Africa that the US was creating global economic turbulence by ignoring long standing world trade rules and imposing unilateral actions.
Davies was speaking during the investments opportunities session on the first day of the sixth annual meeting of the BRICS Business Council in Durban.
“It is important to emphasise that we need to identify many more practical business-to-business projects for implementation as a way of driving forward our economic cooperation and intra-BRICS business cooperation. BRICS as a block is of strategic importance in the current global environment that we find ourselves in today. We have entered a period of turbulence in the global trading system,” said Davies.
He attributed the turbulence to the US, which he said was raising tariffs in violation of a whole lot of trade agreements or arrangements they may have with different countries, and doing it on a discriminatory basis in violation of the World Trade Organisation principles.
The US has imposed tariffs on aluminium and steel since March and is involved in an escalating trade war with China that could potential affect all of China’s exports to the US.
“These actions are accompanied by growing disdain for multilateralism and global trade rules. I think at the end of the day this is all about setting a call for a rebalancing of the global trade environment to the perceived advantage of the individual country and without any sense whatsoever of being in the interest of the global economy, inclusive development or anything of that sort,” Davies said.
He added that the global economic environment was also characterised by the Fourth Industrial Revolution which will have far-reaching implications and impact.
“The presence of these new technologies that are already here is going to be felt exponentially and disruptively across the world. The artificial intelligence and all of the new technologies are happening in the context of the world where there is huge inequality and the winner-takes-all markets. We need to work together and support each other to ensure that these technologies achieve their positive potential to increase global productivity and create a better life for many citizens of the world,” Davies added.
The theme of the Tenth BRICS Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from July 25 to 27 is “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”
He emphasised that BRICS had become an incredibly important and strategic institution as a third of the world’s population resides in the BRICS countries and the group of five countries contributes more than a fifth of the world’s Gross Domestic Product.
Helmo Preuss in Pretoria, South Africa for The BRICS Post