Following South Africa’s admittance to the BRIC trade bloc, economists predicted increased international interest in doing business in Africa. At the time, South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoane-Mashabane, in a brief to journalists, said “South Africa goes into BRICS remembering fully well that we are an integral part of this continent of Africa”. “Wherever South Africa finds itself in a forum … where other African countries are not represented, we do not speak for South Africa alone but also for all other African countries.”

In response to these events, South African Trade promotions (Pty) Ltd (SATP) established BRICS with the intention to develop a digital platform to capitalize on new opportunities in line with these sentiments.

To validate the idea, SATP organized the BRICS Africa Export Import Forum and Exhibition. The Forum and Exhibition was co-located with SAITEX, the 20th Southern African International Trade Exhibition which was attended by 15 253 visitors from 53 countries. The Forum comprised ‘BRICS Country Opportunity Presentations’ convened by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Johannesburg and the NEPAD Business Foundation, Export Import workshops led by the International Trade Institute of Southern Africa and an exhibition of BRICS country trade enablers – including banks and financial services providers, export councils, small business development agencies, certification and logistics and freight service providers, media owners and many others.

The response to SATP’s initiative was met with wide acclaim and SATP received written endorsement from BRIC Ambassadors in South Africa and the pledged support of numerous Associations, Media Partners, Supporters and Sponsors. These include:

  • The Embassies of Brazil, Russia and the Indian High Commission in South Africa
  • The Tripartite Task Force and Secretariat for the three regional economic communities and 26 African countries as signatories to the Africa Free Trade Agreement
  • The three regional economic community Business Councils: COMESA Business Council, SADC Private Sector Forum, East African Community Business Council
  • International Trade Institute of Southern Africa (ITRISA)
  • The Proudly African Initiative
  • Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) (dti)
  • South African Association of Freight Forwarders

  • Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport – Southern Africa
  • Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • NEPAD Business Foundation
  • World Trade Centers in Africa
  • Numerous local, regional and international media

These digital Services are now offered through the BRICS Africa Trade Centre –