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Brics to announce development bank details

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan met with his counterparts from Brics nations.

President Jacob Zuma during a media briefing ahead of the 5th BRICS Summit at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria. Picture: Siya Duda/GCIS

PRETORIA/DURBAN - Brics leaders will announce the details of a deal to establish a development bank that will rival western-backed institutions, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday.

The minister met with his counterparts from Brazil, Russia, India and China in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

Gordhan said they made very good progress.

The Brics summit officially starts on Tuesday evening, with leaders from the five emerging markets expected to discuss ways to improve economic growth.

Gordhan said Africa should now look towards being an exporter of goods, rather than an importer.

"What is crucial is that the package needs to be balanced. We must not see Africa as importers of goods. The trade basket must change."

Earlier on Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Pretoria to sign new business deals worth billions of rands.

Education, economic development and culture agreements were also entered into.

Zuma said China and South Africa were working to find ways to strike a better trade balance.

He also spoke at great lengths about the history of the partnership between the two nations, saying South Africa sought to emulate China's success.

"What we now seek to address, jointly, is to find the means towards a more amicable balance of trade."

Jinping said the relationship between the countries was making historic leaps.

"We are committed to strengthening our political trust and elevating our level of cooperation to the benefit of people in both countries."

Zuma said South Africa and China are battling poverty, inequality and unemployment, which bring them closer together.