Brics summit 2013: Focus on African infra

The Brics summit 2013 is expected to focus on funding for African infrastructure and plans for a business council, a think-tank and a development bank.

The fifth annual summit will bring together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa,and will be preceded by two events: a gathering of the nations' business sectors and a forum at Durban University of Technology for the nations' academics.

"BRICS and Africa - partnerships for integration and industrialisation" will be the theme of the fifth BRICS summit taking place in Durban from March 26. The two day summit will complete the first cycle of BRICS summits.

These summits are convened to seek common ground on areas of importance for these major economies. Talks represent spheres of political and entrepreneurial coordination, in which member countries have identified several business opportunities, economic complementarities and areas of cooperation.

There would be a number of meetings on various issues on the sidelines of the BRICS summit. "The meeting of BRICS trade ministers will take place on the day prior to the summit as well that of the BRICS business forum," according to officials.

The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) will host its partners in the BRICS inter-bank cooperation mechanism for their annual forum meeting on that day.

A robust discussion is expected around the establishment of the proposed BRICS development bank."The BRICS leaders have tasked their finance ministers to prepare a feasibility study on the proposed development bank by the 5th summit. The technical experts of the BRICS countries have already held its first meeting in this regard, and a second meeting will take place in the near future to prepare this study," an official said.

Trade between Brics countries and the rest of Africa was expected to increase to about R530bn by 2015.A Brics business forum would be held on March 2, where up to 800 members of the business sectors of Brics nations are expected to participate. The discussion at the forum is expected to concentrate on South Africa's aims of its Brics membership, namely "advancing national interests, advancing the African agenda and working with Brics to realign the world's financial, political and trade architecture.

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