JOHANNESBURG, April 4 (Xinhua) -- South Africa on Thursday officially handed over the BRICS Business Council chairmanship to Brazil, with the later pledging to work hard to further strengthen the bloc's relations.
The handover occurred in Johannesburg during the council's mid-term meeting.
BRICS groups Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
Jose Serrador, chair of the BRICS Business Council's Brazil chapter, thanked South Africa for the committed leadership.
"Brazil accept the chair with total commitment to lead debate and contribute to the BRICS cooperation," Serrador said. "As we take over we encourage debate to make BRICS Business Council effective and noticeable."
He announced that this year's BRICS summit will be held in Brazil on Nov. 13-14 in Brasilia, saying Brazil will prioritize investment and trade facilitation.
South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu congratulated Brazil for taking over as the chairmanship.
"We welcome the assurance from Brazil that the new government is committed to BRICS and to continue with us," Sisulu told the closing session.
"This is a very important partnership for all of us. We have been inundated with requests from other countries to join BRICS, which should indicate the important role we play," she said.
Sisulu said BRICS leaders value and appreciate the work done by the BRICS Business Council.
Lu Yimin, representative of the BRICS Business Council's China chapter, said China will support Brazil to fulfill the dreams and aspirations of BRICS citizens.
"China will continue to promote practical cooperation among BRICS partners. We will continue to support open market and transparency in trade," Lu said.
Other BRICS representatives also pledged to work with Brazil to enhance cooperation in BRICS.