President Jacob Zuma has concluded a successful Working Visit to Xiamen in the People's Republic of China, where he attended the Ninth Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit with other BRICS leaders. The summit took place from 3 to 5 September 2017 under the theme: "BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future".

During the summit, the BRICS leaders discussed issues of mutual concern aimed at achieving development, economic growth and prosperity, as well as peace and security, which brought them together in the past 10 years. The leaders acknowledged that they had traversed a remarkable journey together on their respective development paths tailored to their national circumstances, devoted to growing their economies and improving people's livelihoods. The BRICS leaders also committed to building responsive, inclusive and collective solutions to the world economic challenges, including poverty and unemployment.

The BRICS leaders met with the BRICS Business Council where the efforts and contribution of the BRICS Business Council and Business Forum to strengthen economic cooperation in infrastructure, manufacturing, energy, agriculture, financial services, e-commerce, alignment of technical standards and skills development were discussed. "This year, we had the biggest business delegation which indicates the amount of interest BRICS has aroused," said the President.

They reaffirmed their commitment to BRICS industrial cooperation, including on industrial capacities and policies, new industrial infrastructure and standards, as well as small, micro and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs), in order to jointly seize the opportunities brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and expedite respective industrialisation processes. In this regard, they agreed to explore the establishment of the BRICS Institute of Future networks.

The BRICS leaders agreed to promote the development of BRICS Local Currency Bond Markets and jointly establish a BRICS Local Currency Bond Fund, as a means of contributing to the capital sustainability of financing in BRICS countries, boosting the development of BRICS domestic and regional bond markets, including by increasing foreign private-sector participation and enhancing financial resilience of BRICS countries.

In terms of global security, the BRICS leaders noted the challenges and threats faced by the international community and committed to enhance communication and cooperation in international fora on issues concerning international peace and security. "That is why we have considered urgent that the BRICS Security Cluster of Ministers meet to discuss these current threats to our security and that of the globe," said the President.

President Zuma and leaders noted with satisfaction the launch of the Africa Regional Centre of the New Development Bank (NDB) on 17 August 2017 in Johannesburg. The launch was welcomed and lauded as a major milestone for Africa as a whole, as it underlines BRICS' commitment to the development of the African continent and emerging markets. "The launching of the bank in Johannesburg recently is indeed momentous. The idea of having our own BRICS Bank is historical and a game changer, because it will handle matters of finance in a friendly way to the developing world.  The bank will first work with member countries and with time, will extend to the rest of Africa and other countries. The Umzimvubu Water Project and the Moloto Corridor are just two examples of the projects the NDB will work on immediately. We are also glad that the bank has gained acceptance globally," said President Zuma.

On the sidelines of the BRICS Summit, President Zuma held bilateral meetings with BRICS leaders, namely: President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China; President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation; as well as as the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who attended the Dialogue of Emerging Markets and Developing Countries.

President Zuma also met with President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, whose country shares a border with China and also forms part of the Emerging Markets and Developing Countries. President Rahmon invited President Zuma for a State Visit to Tajikistan, to further strengthen bilateral economic relations between the two countries.

In continuation of a BRICS tradition of outreach that began during the Durban Summit, BRICS leaders held a Dialogue of Emerging Markets and Developing Countries on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the building of broad partnerships for development.

The dialogue was held under the theme: "Strengthening Mutually-Beneficial Cooperation for Common Development" in promotion of BRICS Plus cooperation.