ANALYSIS-S.Africa, not just another BRIC in the wall

Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:32pm GMT

South Africa's biggest backer for BRIC has been its largest trade partner, China. Last week, Beijing extended an invitation for Pretoria to join and asked President Jacob Zuma to attend a summit of BRIC leaders it will host next year.

"This is something that China sees in its own interest with its aim of understanding the future of Africa and becoming an ever bigger presence there," said Marvin Zonis, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

"It is really smart on the part of China to do this and it is also really good for South Africa. It legitimises South Africa as a future global power and as an investable country," Zonis said.

China has invested heavily in Africa for years, seeing it as a source of commodities to power its economic engine and an export destination for its products that will grow over time.

China's official media last week said trade between China and Africa would hit a record this year and stood at $115 billion as of the end of November.

China emerged as Africa's largest trading partner in 2009, outpacing the European Union and the United States, China's People's Daily said.


BRIC has been seen as moving economic activity away from the established powers in Europe and North America and erecting a wall that limits their global power.   Continued...

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