China's Xi opens BRICS summit in South Africa

China's Xi opens BRICS summit in South Africa

The annual summit of the coterie of emerging economic powers first identified by former Goldman Sachs Asset Management chairman Jim O'Neill is the 10th since its leaders started meeting.

You will see during the summit that the likes of President Xi and Prime Minister Modi run real powerhouses, not Putin.

"South Africa, and Africa more broadly, can benefit from increasing exports to fast growing countries like India and China", Kenneth Creamer, an economist at Johannesburg's Wits University, told AFP.

Survé said the three achievements he hoped could be accomplished by the end of this week's summit include a visa-free regime for bona fide business travellers, technology transfer between the BRICS countries for business and the creation of a BRICS rating agency.

The rand climbed as much as 1.2 percent against the dollar and was 0.9 percent higher at 13.3447 at 2:30 Johannesburg.

The five countries' GDP is now more than 90 per cent the size of United States output.

"What is happening is positive but South Africa should know that it is still treated as an underdog".

South African trade minister Rob Davies opened the event on Wednesday with a call to fight the "undermining the multilateral rules-based trading system which all of us consider to be an important part of the trade architecture".

Nearly 1,000 delegates including heads of state from Brazil Russia India China and South Africa have gathered at the Sandton Convention Centre for the meeting

He added that the bloc has built confidence and a level of maturation and therefore had a better sense of direction than when it began back in 2013.

BRICS also intends on establishing working groups on peacekeeping, a BRICS gender and women forum, as well as advancing the BRICS partnership in the fourth industrial revolution amongst others.

An additional 22 countries are taking part in this week's summit, 19 of them from Africa.

Sooklal also told the media that delegates and sherpas from BRICS countries arrived in South Africa and that preparations and consultations with the various countries were underway.

China has the most at stake in a potential trade conflict, accounting for the bulk of the combined gross domestic product of about $17 trillion that Brics represents.

Gauteng is the largest economy in South Africa and between 2001 to June this year Gauteng attracted R380-billion in foreign direct investment, noted Tau.

South Africa has been serving as chair of BRICS since January this year.

New Development Bank under the BRICS umbrella was established in 2014.