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Minister Pandor welcomes Egypt into family of BRICS nations

International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, has welcomed Egypt into the family of BRICS nations. "This development further enhances the role the South plays in global matters," she said on Friday.

The BRICS grouping of major emerging economies – Brazil, India, China, South Africa and Russia – has admitted four new members. These include Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. Pandor was speaking in Pretoria, where she was co-chairing the 10th Session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) with her counterpart, Egypt Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry.

Meanwhile, Pandor said South Africa and Egypt need to exponentially increase trade and investment. "In this regard, partnerships between our private sectors and state-owned entities are crucial. This also entails the need to formally establish and launch a Business Council," she said.

The Minister announced on Friday that a decision on the Business Council has been taken and once operational, this structure will go a long way in coordinating and galvanizing trade and investment opportunities. She also asked her counterpart to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which will facilitate easier trade.

"As an important blueprint and contributor to integration, the AfCFTA lessens the barriers towards trade, promotes preferential trade and provides an enabling framework, which will be mutually beneficial to both our two countries and the continent in general."

She stated that long bonds of friendship, solidarity and collaboration underpin their relationship.


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