South Africa brings special insights to work of BRICS: ambassador

14:16, April 12, 2011      

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As the newcomer to BRICS, South Africa will bring special insights to the work of the five nation grouping, said the country's ambassador to China before the five emerging powers hold a summit later this week.

The third BRICS Leaders' Meeting is slated for Thursday in China's southern island resort of Sanya. BRICS is a group acronym that refers to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which are all considered to be at the same stage of economic development. The four original members have held two summits respectively in Russia and Brazil over the past two years.

South Africa was officially invited to join BRICS on Dec. 23, 2010, South African ambassador Bheki Langa told Xinhua, adding that "the invitation indicates the high regard with which our country is viewed internationally."

BRICS member states, among other emerging economies, play an important role in advancing the restructuring of the global political, economic and financial architecture into one that is more equitable, balanced and rests on the important pillar of multilateralism, Langa said.

"As an important part of the South and the global community, Africa has to take its rightful place in the new equitable world order," said the ambassador, adding that South Africa's participation in BRICS would mean that an entire continent that has a population of over 1 billion people is represented.

Langa said "it goes without saying" that South Africa is uniquely placed to bring the African perspective to the BRICS forum, like other global ones in which it participates, "since our foreign policy priority is the African continent."

While the discourse on BRICS has focused on the sizes of the economies, population and future projections of stature, Langa said there are important attributes which South Africa brings to the group.

"Among developing countries, we are the biggest investor on the African continent. This means that, although our economy is small in relation to other BRICS members, we have attributes that have positioned us well in the world and which will allow us to bring special insights into the work of BRICS," he said.

Langa said South Africa will be a good gateway for the other BRICS countries to the continent of Africa -- "the next growth superstar."
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Source: Xinhua
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