South African President Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma: BRICS trade up 70%

South African President Jacob Zuma

Trade between BRICS countries has grown 70% since 2009, when the group was formed, President Jacob Zuma of the South African Republic told MP's in reply to questions about the July BRICS summit in Russia.

"The summit has confirmed the group's international importance," he said, adding that joint GDP exceeded $32 trillion, or 60% over 2009.

The BRICS countries account for almost 30% of global GDP; they produce one-third of the industrial goods and a half of the agricultural products, he said. Last year, they accounted for 20.5% of the direct investment in the world (from 16.9% in 2009). Investment has increased from 9.7 to 14% in six years.

"We are ready to expand economic cooperation in key areas such as food production, petrochemistry, mining, tourism, nuclear and renewable power production, transport, communications, and trade," he said.

He described the launching of financial institutions - the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement - as the main achievements at the BRICS summit in Ufa. According to President Zuma, international development banks have welcomed the establishment of the NDB "as an important additional factor in global financial transactions."