BRIC to Become BRICS as China Invites South Africa to Join

World | December 25, 2010, Saturday // 10:30|  views

South Africa's foreign minister Nkoana-Mashabane pictured with US Secretary of State Clinton. Photo from flickr

South Africa will attend the BRIC summit in 2011 Q1, thus becoming part of the grouping of four major newly advanced global economies – Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

This has become clear after Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, announced that China had invited South Africa to join BRIC. With South Africa's addition, the grouping will be renamed "BRICS".

Nkoana-Mashabane wrote to the foreign ministers of the BRIC countries back in 2009 expressing her state's desire to join the grouping.

"The rationale for South Africa's approach was in consideration of a matter of crucial importance to BRIC's Member States, namely the role of emerging economies 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. Our approach to intensifying our relations with emerging powers and other countries of the South is, of course, through active and strong bilateral engagement," the South African foreign minister said as cited by CNN International.

Even though South Africa is the most advanced economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, its growth has experienced much greater difficulties than BRIC countries such as China, Brazil, and India. What is more, the South African economy is only 31st in the world in terms of size, far smaller than the economies of China (3rd), Brazil (8th), India (11th), and Russia (12th).

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Tags: BRIC, BRICS, South Africa, China, India, Brazil, Russia, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane


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