BRICs ‘not complete’ without SA

South Africa’s foreign minister said on Thursday the informal grouping of fast-growing emerging economies known as BRIC — Brazil, Russia, India and China — should add South Africa to become BRICSA.

“We have doubled our efforts on BRIC and we remind them that it does not sound complete without SA at the end,” Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told a media briefing on her visit to China last week with President Jacob Zuma.

“The Chinese said they are hearing us and we should watch this space,” she said.

The BRICs, a term coined by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill in 2001 to describe the growing influence of large emerging economies, accounted for about half of global economic growth between 2000 and 2008 and will account for 61% of global growth in 2014, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The countries are not formally linked but have held summits and taken steps to boost financial cooperation and investment opportunities between them.

South Africa, whose economy is about one-fourth the size of India’s, has been lobbying heavily to be admitted to the group.

Zuma has made a point of visiting all four BRIC countries since taking office in May last year.

“In diplomacy one keeps knocking without annoying the occupants of the house,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.

“We have done our best and made a positive impression with BRIC members.” – AFP

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