13 April 2011
President Jacob Zuma has arrived in Sanya, Hainan Island in China, where South Africa will be participating in the BRICS Leaders Meeting as a member of the grouping of powerful developing countries for the first time.
The changing global environment has been accompanied by a shift in political and economic power towards the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – as well as other emerging powers.
The International Monetary Fund has predicted that Brazil, Russia, India and China will together account for as much as 61% of global growth by 2020.
South Africa anticipates economic and political benefits, for both the country and the continent, to come from its membership of BRICS.
“It is a historic moment for South Africa,” Zuma said on his arrival in Sanya on Wednesday. “We look forward to using this relationship to further advance our agenda of creating jobs, as announced in the State of the Nation address in February.”
Zuma said that South Africa’s membership of BRICS would “contribute immensely in the advancement of other priorities domestically and internationally, especially in the peace and security and development arenas.”
According to the Presidency, discussions at the two-day summit, which starts on Thursday, will centre on strengthening economic and trade cooperation among BRICS members.
Zuma is being accompanied by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, and Deputy Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.
After his arrival, Zuma and his delegation left for his hotel, the Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa, in Yalong Bay.
Zuma was expected to hold bilateral meetings in Yalong Bay with his Russian counterpart, Dimitry Medvedev, on Wednesday afternoon, followed by a second bilateral meeting in the early evening with Chinese President Hu Jintao.