Progress has been made in terms of institutional development within the BRICS grouping, and further impetus will be placed on implementation in the future. The exponential institutional development of BRICS has yielded institutions including the New Development Bank (NDB), the Africa Regional Centre (ARC) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), amongst others; all of which are intended to make tangible and impactful contributions toward the development objectives of South Africa, the African continent and the Global South.
In line with the agreement to establish the first regional centre of the NDB, i.e. the Africa Regional Centre, concurrently with the Bank itself, former President Jacob Zuma oversaw the launch of the ARC at its temporary domicile in Sandown, Johannesburg on 17 August 2017.
A major constraint that was identified to accelerated infrastructure development is the absence of bankable projects that can attract funding from private and public sources of finance.
The ARC is an integral demonstration of the commitment of BRICS to the African continent, as driven and championed by South Africa, specifically through its support for the continent’s industrial and infrastructure development agenda. The ARC is intended to play a catalytic role in providing financial and project preparation support for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in South Africa and Africa, with an initial phase focus on project preparation and project facilitation.
BRICS states can share best practices in areas such as the 4th Industrial Revolution, beneficiation and nation building, as there are some synergies and similarities in terms of demographic dividend and capabilities. There has been an incremental increase in economic cooperation, as well as in the promotion of trade and investment agreements, which will result in the reduction of poverty, addressing inequality and creation of more jobs in their respective countries, notably in South Africa where these challenges are highlighted. In terms of tourism amongst BRICS countries, statistics show positive improvements since certain agreements and relations have been strengthened in the past decade.