March 31, 2011 / 1:08 PM / 9 years ago

China sets April date for "BRICS" emerging powers summit

BEIJING, March 31 (Reuters) - Leaders from five of the world’s top emerging economies will gather in China mid-next month to discuss economic, financial and security concerns, the Chinese government said on Thursday, setting a date for the “BRICS” summit.

The announcement came on the same day that China played host to a meeting of officials from the G20 group of major advanced and emerging economies, another sign of Beijing’s growing stature in global economic diplomacy. [ID:nL3E7EV06]

Chinese President Hu Jintao and leaders from Brazil, Russia India and South Africa will meet on the far southern Chinese island-province of Hainan on April 14, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on its website (www.mfa.gov.cn).

The summit is unlikely to achieve much concrete, but it will give the world’s big rising economies a venue to coordinate views on global financial reforms, commodity prices and other shared concerns.

“The BRICS leaders will exchange views on international developments and economic, financial and development issues, and will also plan future cooperation among the BRICS countries,” said the short statement.

This was the first time China gave a firm date for the meeting — the third “BRIC” summit and the first to include South Africa, creating the new “BRICS” name for the group.

The group emerged as a loose united front to press the rich Western economies, especially the United States, which traditionally dominated global diplomacy.

But there are many disparities among the BRICS member countries, and the past two summits of the evolving group have not achieved much. This time, too, strains over China’s currency policies and trade surpluses could make real agreement even harder to reach.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will make a bilateral visit to Beijing to coincide with the summit, and her government officials have said they want to discuss the Chinese yuan , which they say is held so cheap it has helped fuel a flood of Chinese exports to Brazil. [ID:nN28214216]

The leaders may also discuss Libya.

China, with Russia, India, Brazil and other developing countries have condemned the U.S.-led air strikes on Libyan forces. South Africa, on the other hand, voted in favour of the United Nations Security Council resolution authorising the air strikes. (Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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