As the five members of the BRICS group of emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – tighten ranks and seek to expand their global influence, the inevitable trade spats have begun.
Not many nice things can be said about the apartheid regime in South Africa. It was racist, violent in the brutal oppression of many of its own citizens, and was despised around the world.
Africa presently only contributes about three percent of global GDP, with South Africa contributing around one percent.
South Africa plans to boost links between Africa and its partners in the Brazil, Russia, India and China alliance at a landmark summit, which will be held in this country in March, Xavier Carim, deputy director general at the Department of Trade and Industry, told IPS.
China’s presence in the leading developing nations alliance of Brazil, Russia, India and China has given the bloc an advantage that another developing nations club, India, Brazil and South Africa, has hitherto been lacking, according to Peter Draper, one of South Africa’s leading experts on international relations and trade.
The five leading developing nations grouped in the BRICS alliance – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are planning to intensify efforts to collect accurate trade data, so they can get a better picture of trade flows.
Politicians in the leading developing nations have been active in boosting mutual ties, as one way of counterbalancing the influence of the developed world. But the economic success of the Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa and the India, Brazil, and South Africa groupings will depend on the extent to which businesses take advantage of the new opportunities which are being created.
South Africa has experienced a significant shift in trade with a new emphasis on links with developing nations, at the expense of traditional partners in the developed world, according to a leading South African economist.
South Africa and China are partners within a club of leading emerging markets, and it would seem natural that exports of South African wine to the Chinese market should be surging.
Will the BRICS expand into the BRICSIT?