Saudi Arabia expresses desire to join BRICS family
The decision for Saudi Arabia to join BRICS will be discussed next year.
Photo: Saudi Arabia Foreign Ministry
President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has expressed a desire to join the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) family.
The president concluded his State Visit to the Kingdom, confident that both countries have cemented their continued bilateral cooperation and consolidated their strategic partnership.
Saudi Arabi’s Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa Sultan Al-Anqari was also in attendance for some of the bilateral meetings between the two countries.
Ramaphosa visited Saudi Arabia at the invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Royal Highness (HRH) King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and was hosted in Jeddah by HRH Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud on 15 and 16 October.
Saudi Arabia and BRICS
The president said Saudi Arabia’s joining of BRICS would mean significant change in the countries that form the bloc.
He however said this would be discussed during a summit to take place in South Africa next year.
“The BRICS nations are going to be meeting in a summit next year under the chairship of South Africa. And the matter is going to be under consideration.
“And already a number of countries or nations have been making approaches to the other member countries, and we’ve given them the same answer to say it’ll be discussed by the BRICS partners themselves, five of them, and thereafter a decision will be made,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa set a clear agenda of growing economic ties with Saudi Arabia and the visit afforded him an opportunity to advance previous discussions on investment and collaboration in identified priority sectors, notably agriculture, defence, energy, and transport, with the Kingdom.
He applauded the 17 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) as testimony to the real success the two countries are seeking to achieve.
“Having started in 2018 with a commitment by Saudi Arabia to invest 10 billion dollars into the South African economy, in many ways was planting the seed, and that seed has been germinating and thus far one billion dollars has been invested in South Africa through a company called ACWA Power.”
Saudi Arabia/South Africa relations
Saudi Arabia’s Investment Minister, Khalid Al Falih, said he was optimistic that the 17 Memoranda of Understanding that South Africa signed with the kingdom would yield positive economic results.
About $15 billion worth of agreements have been signed so far.
Al Falih said Saudi Arabia is looking forward to working with South Africa.
“It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out how we can work together, I think the complementary and compatibility between the two sides is obvious to see how about we seem not to just over the hamper, his royal highness was able to see was offer to accelerate the pace that he wanted to set out when you two last met here in Jeddah,” Al-Falih said.
There is no indication if Ramaphosa requested an increase in the South African Hajj quota.
Waiting lists for the pilgrims in the country ballooning to a backlog of about 16 years, when previously it was between five and eight years.