South Africa's scientists and engineers have changed the sometimes negative perception of the country.
Forget the Brics and the Civets, Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey are the new kids on the bloc, according to economists.
Quacquarelli Symonds has published its top 100 universities in the five Brics countries, of which eight are South African.
As investors focus on current account deficits and structural weaknesses, South Africa is being seen as a less attractive emerging market.
Leaders of the Brics group have voiced alarm about alleged spying by the US and likened it to terrorism, says a Kremlin spokesperson.
Currency reserves are hoped to guard against financial shocks, while China has committed to contributing the "lion's share".
SA has ranked 53rd out of 148 countries surveyed on the World Economic Forum's Global Competitive Index.
Speakers stress the need for action.
Leaders have thrown their weight behind the need for development of the African continent as expressed at the first Brics business council meeting.
The Brics group should be inclusive and allow full participation by labour unions in all its institutions, says Cosatu.
Brazil has said it plans to cancel $900-million worth of debt in 12 African countries, as part of a broader strategy to boost ties with the continent.
There is need to rethink the imperatives and meaning of a successful Zimbabwean economy, says the country's Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.
But members still have to cement the finer details of their plans to establish a development bank.
China, India and the United States have been expected to emerge as the three dominant world economies by 2050.
The Brics Development Bank will go ahead, but Russia's finance minister says it will not be launched when the fifth Brics summit is held.
The Brics grouping of emerging powers have reached a deal to establish a development bank that would rival Western-backed institutions.
Some might say President Zuma is no stranger to the land of make-believe. Here he finds himself in curious company. But can he keep up?
Can South Africa contribute $10-billion to a Brics development bank and will the country's taxpayers have to foot the bill?
The Brics summit will play a critical role in defining the future of developing nations, the ANC has said.
Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has called for industrialisation to tackle inequality, unemployment and poverty in South Africa.