President Zuma arrives in china to attend BRICS summit

President Jacob Zuma has arrived in Sanya, Hainan Island in China to attend the 3rd BRICS Leaders Summit, which South Africa is attending for the first time as a member.

President Zuma is accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel and the Deputy Minister of Finance.

South Africa joined the important bloc of emerging economies in December 2010, which is in line with the country’s foreign policy to strengthen relations among developing countries.  Discussions will centre on strengthening economic and trade cooperation amongst BRICS members.

The changing global environment has seen a greater political and economic role for the BRICS and other emerging powers. By 2020, the BRICS countries are expected to contribute nearly half of all global GDP growth.

South Africa anticipates economic and political benefits from the membership of BRICS, for both the country and the continent.

“It is a historic moment for South Africa. We look forward to using this relationship to further advance our agenda of creating jobs, as announced in the State of the Nation Address in February. The mechanism will also contribute immensely in the advancement of other priorities domestically and internationally, especially in the peace and security and development arenas’’, said President Zuma on arrival in Sanya.

South Africa enjoys good historical, political and economic relations with the BRIC countries.


  • To date South Africa has enjoyed warm political relations with China, which was also demonstrated with the successful celebration of 10 years of South Africa-Chinese diplomatic relations in 2008.
  • It is commonly projected that China is on route to become the world’s biggest economy by 2050.
  • China has become South Africa's largest export destination. Two-way trade between China and SA reached R119.7-billion in 2009, surpassing the United States as the country's largest trading partner.


  • South Africa has occupied a special place in the national ethos of India, with the link between its own independence and the struggle for equality and justice which was advanced by Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa.
  • Trade volumes have grown between South Africa and India. South Africa's exports to India reached R5-billion in 2010, while imports totalled R2-billion, in favour of South Africa.


  • South Africa and Brazil enjoy a bilateral relationship that is growing.
  • The relationship has been strengthened by a common desire to influence the global agenda in the 21st Century in a manner that reflects the aspirations and vision of the countries of the South.
  • In 2008, total trade between Brazil and South Africa reached US$ 2.52 billion from United States $2.2 billion in 2007. There has been a remarkable increase of 48% of SA exports to Brazil in 2008, which translates in a 25% trade deficit reduction (from US$ 1.2 billion in 2007 to less than US$1 billion in 2008).


  • The Russian Federation remains a strategic partner in the reform of institutions of global governance
  • Despite the global economic crisis, the Federal Customs Service in the Russian Federation indicated that overall trade between the two countries increased from US$ 484, 02 million in 2008 to US$ 517,21 million in 2009.

President Zuma will on the 15th of April attend the BOAO Forum, which is a reputable economic forum of Asian countries and business.

Enquiries: Zizi Kodwa on 082 330 4910.

Issued by The Presidency


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