Zuma arrives for Brics summit

2011-04-13 07:00

Beijing – President Jacob Zuma arrived in China today to attend the third leaders’ summit of the Brics group of five major developing nations.

Zuma will take part in his first summit of the group, which also includes Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Zuma is also scheduled to hold talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the summit in the southern resort of Sanya on Hainan island.

South Africa officially joined Brics in December.

“The invitation (to join the group) indicates the high regard with which our country is viewed internationally,” Zuma told China’s official Xinhua news agency before his visit.

“The grouping offers a big, lucrative market for South Africa’s goods and services, and lots of opportunities to implement our Industrial Policy Action Plan and the New Growth Path framework,” he told the agency.

The new growth path is designed to create five million jobs in South Africa by 2020 and reduce unemployment to 15 per cent.

China is South Africa’s largest trade partner with bilateral trade valued at $25.65 billion last year, up 60% from 2009, according to Chinese statistics.

The main theme of the Brics summit is “inclusive development”.

Discussion topics will include the international situation, global economic and financial issues, and cooperation between the five nations, organisers said.

The five Brics nations have 42% of the global population and accounted for about 18 per cent of global gross domestic product last year.

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