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YEKATERINBURG, February 29. /TASS/. The South African government is satisfied with Russia’s presidency in the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in 2015, South African Ambassador to Russia Nomasonto Sibanda-Thusi said at the opening of a business forum in Yekaterinburg on Monday.
"Our authorities are satisfied with the dynamic presidency of Russia in BRICS in 2015. Russia has set the bar high for India, which takes over the BRICS presidency this year," the ambassador said.
She said that Russia attaches major importance to crime prevention and the development of the public healthcare system in the BRICS countries. "And it’s gratifying. I’d like to emphasize that Russia remains a strategic partner for South Africa," she added.
BRICS is an informal association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The group was founded in June 2006 at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and was known as BRIC prior to inclusion of South Africa. Russia was presiding in BRICS in 2015 and is chairing the BRICS Business Council until April 2016. The agreement on establishing the BRICS New Development Bank was signed on July 15, 2014 in Brazil. South Africa joined the association in February 2011.
The Business Forum of South Africa is held in Yekaterinburg on February 29. It is devoted to issues of cooperation in the field of agriculture, trade and tourism. The South African delegation includes representatives of the country’s largest companies: producers of wine, olive oil, exporters of tea, juice, fruit and spices. The forum is aimed at the establishment of direct contacts between Russia’s Ural region and South African companies.