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DURBAN (SOUTH AFRICA)-- BRICS Communications and ICT Ministers have agreed to help promote the cooperation of Small, Micro, Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) from BRICS member countries.

Key to unleashing their potential is for governments to support and invest in the innovation and development of ICT SMMEs and the broader ICT industry, said a communique issued at the end of the 4th BRICS meeting for Communications and ICT Ministers.

The Ministers have urged SMMEs to continue to innovate and find solutions that will advance universal telecommunications access.

The member states identified SMMEs as potential engines for growth and job creation.

The meeting, held in Durban, agreed to share studies, expertise and information on the roll-out of 5G within BRICS member countries. This includes encouraging intra-BRICS investment on 5G and other new emerging technologies.

The ministers further agreed to continue to cooperate on cybersecurity and to increase partnerships on digital skills training.

A common agenda on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in particular the participation in the operationalisation of the Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR), was agreed on.

The PartNIR aims to deepen BRICS cooperation in digitalisation, industrialisation, innovation, inclusiveness and investment, to maximise the opportunities and address the challenges arising from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, said the declaration.

The PartNIR is one of the resolutions of the BRICS Summit. This will be done through the establishment of the Digital BRICS Task Force to coordinate cooperation on the digital and ICT enabled interventions for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

ICT Ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa attended the meeting.

The meeting was aimed at taking forward policy approaches to emerging technologies, progress in business linkages and strengthening cooperation on the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the five countries.


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