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BRICS expansion offers opportunity to boost African trade, say experts

BRICS expansion offers opportunity to boost African trade, say experts
Africa could benefit from the expansion of the BRICS to include Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, experts told a roundtable in Nairobi.

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The expansion of the BRICS bloc presents African countries with an opportunity to shift away from trading in raw commodities and instead focus on value-added and intermediate goods, according to experts at a BRICS roundtable. The recent addition of Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to the economic bloc has the potential to bolster trade and investment in Africa. The new formation, known as BRICS+, accounts for a significant portion of global GDP, crude oil production and exports, global trade in goods, and the world's population. Experts emphasized the importance of value addition and beneficiation in order for Africa to benefit from the opportunities offered by BRICS+. They also highlighted the potential for the African Continental Free Trade Area to enhance trade within the continent. The expansion of BRICS could challenge existing global institutions and give the Global South a greater voice in world affairs. The New Development Bank, also known as the BRICS Bank, is already having an impact in member states and beyond, and has a wider vision for Africa. People-to-people ties are seen as crucial in accelerating the expansion and integration of BRICS+ economies. Business leaders in South Africa and the wider BRICS+ bloc regularly convene under the auspices of the BRICS Business Council to identify opportunities and find solutions to common challenges.

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