In an effort to connect and promote regular dialogue between South African individuals and entities with an interest in doing business within the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) trade bloc, the South African chapter of the BRICS Business Council today launched the SA BRICS Business Council Portal.
Following the BRICS Business Council’s agenda of encouraging dialogue to drive greater economic trade and investment, the portal presents a solution to address some of the challenges of doing business with BRICS nations.
The portal presents a multitude of opportunities to engage individuals, businesses and governments within the BRICS trade bloc to facilitate interaction, enable better understanding of market opportunities, and build synergies based on their respective competitive strengths. These efforts will all promote industrial development and job creation.
“The portal is designed to inform, inspire and clarify through content. When we designed the portal, we looked at some of the challenges that restrict or slow trade within the BRICS nations, and found that the availability of trade and investment information was one of the biggest challenges faced by individuals and businesses with an interest in this market,” explains Mike Ntsasa, Group Executive, Independent Media Group, and Project Head, SA BRICS Business Portal.
With a focus on local business news, policy issues, opportunities, government programmes/projects aligned to the enhancement of SA’s positioning as a BRICS member and an instrumental lead into the continent, individuals and businesses will be able to tap into research, information and insights on the BRICS community.
“The portal is an innovative response to the needs of businesses and individuals wanting to do business within the BRICS trade bloc,” explains Ntsasa.
He added: “We have built an e-commerce ecosystem that will fast track the pace of trade between South Africa and other BRICS countries. We have designed a portal that will bridge the gaps to minimise business risk and equip individuals and business owners with relevant and up-to-date information to ensure that they make informed trade and investment decisions.”
The portal aims to support informed decision making to ensure sustainable development.
From financial services, agribusiness and energy to skills development, education, infrastructure and manufacturing, the BRICS Business Council portal seeks to bridge the knowledge gaps that have attributed to the slow pace – and in some areas restrictions – in doing business within the BRICS trade bloc.
To support businesses with an interest in trading in these sectors, the BRICS Business Council has also set up six working groups, in line with the international BRICS Business Council structure, in the areas of infrastructure, manufacturing, financial services, energy and the green economy, skills development, and agribusiness and deregulation. These working groups aim to facilitate interaction amongst businesses to enable them to better understand available market opportunities and build synergies based on their competitive strengths. The working groups will also help identify scarce skills sectors and establish available opportunities within these sectors, such as in manufacturing and other job creation prospects.
“We want to provide endless learning opportunities and information for individuals and businesses and we aim to promote and strengthen their business, trade and investment ties,” says Brian Molefe, Group CEO of Eskom Holdings and Chair of the BRICS Business Council Chapter in South Africa.
Molefe continues, “Our aim is to leverage technology innovations to connect local businesses to the BRICS economies and to use various learning and sharing opportunities to address some of the challenges faced by businesses and governments in different countries. The portal is designed to offer valuable insights on trade and industry with entities in the BRICS countries. We want to eliminate the current trial-and-error approach to doing business by providing business support to information, and opportunities for engagement and networking.”
Individuals have the opportunity to access news and information, and subscribe to the portal newsletter. Businesses can access the portal by registering on the directory which will give them exposure to networking opportunities with other businesses in the BRICS bloc. In addition, members of the BRICS Council will be able to advertise on the portal.