Rainbow Nation to bring new glitter to BRICS

16:14, January 28, 2011      

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South Africa Ambassador: China, Africa good partners

Video: BRICS embraces Rainbow Nation

South Africa’s full membership of BRICS will add an "Africa dimension" to the world's major emerging economies' club, which also includes Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Dr. Bheki Langa, Ambassador of South Africa to China, made those comments on Wednesday in his interview with People's Daily Online. South Africa is known as Rainbow Nation.

South Africa's economy is much smaller than any other BRICS members. Its GDP, 286 billion U.S. dollars, is less than one quarter of Russia’s. However, given its influence and position in the African continent, its BRICS membership will bring huge opportunities for Africa and the rest of world both politically and economically, said the Ambassador.

There are some doubts and controversy over South Africa’s BRICS membership. Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’neill, who coined the name of BRIC in 2003, for example, has questioned whether it was the right time for the BRICS to invite South Africa.

Dr. Langa highlighted that Africa, with its 1 billion people, represents a huge market and a new growth point in the world and South Africa, with its “extensive links” within Africa could be a “gateway” to Africa for other BRICS members and the rest of the world.

Most foreign trade and investment in Africa are channeled through South Africa and there are big international companies there. In addition, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange deals with 90 percent of Africa’s stock exchange with the rest of world, said Dr. Langa.

Politically, South Africa’s BRICS membership will help increase the voice of emerging economies in the international affairs. When all the five BRICS countries have become non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council this year, further cooperation between BRICS and other developing countries will have more say in the international affairs, the Ambassador stressed.

By Li Jia, People's Daily Online


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