28 March 2012
Chinese President Hu Jintao has praised South Africa’s membership of the BRICS group of influential emerging nations, describing the grouping as a champion of the interests of developing countries worldwide.
Hu was responding to questions from BRICS country journalists ahead of the fourth BRICS summit starting in New Delhi, India on Wednesday.
South Africa’s Business Day quoted Hu as saying that the five countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – together formed an important voice for “a more balanced world economy, more reasonable international relations, more effective global governance, and more durable world peace”.
South Africa’s inclusion in the BRICS group in April 2011 had made it more representative, Hu said – and also meant that all BRICS members were major strategic partners of China.
Since establishing diplomatic ties more than 10 years ago, China and South Africa had “carried out fruitful co-operation in the political, economic, trade, cultural … and other fields, which … gives a strong boost to China-Africa relations,” Business Day quoted Hu as saying.
Hu said he expected this week’s summit to help “strengthen [the] institutional building of BRICS co-operation, map out plans for the future, and lay a solid foundation for long-term growth.”
According to Business Day, the latest figures from the Department of International Relations show that South Africa’s exports to its fellow BRICS countries increased from R16.6-billion in 2005 to R94.7-billion in 2010.
“BRICS-Africa trade is projected to rise from US$150-billion in 2010 to $350-billion in 2015,” Business Day reported.