Monday, January 3, 2011
South Africa invited to join BRIC group
The BRIC group is Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Jim O'Neill of Goldman Sachs invented "the BRIC term in 2001 to describe the four nations that he estimates will collectively equal the U.S. in economic size by 2020." At the time it was intended to be a term used for investors but since then it has taken on meaning as a political group as well. The BRIC countries had their first official summit in Russia in June 2009 and are meeting in China in 2011. South Africa is invited to this summit, and there is speculation that the name will be changed to BRICS. Jim O'Neill doesn't consider South Africa, with an economy and population much smaller than the other four, to be a viable candidate for the group. South Korea, Turkey, Indonesia, and Mexico are more reasonable candidates by those measures. But South Africa adds a new continent to the group, and China wants to expand its role in the economy of Africa in general. "China emerged as Africa's largest trading partner in 2009, outpacing the European Union and the United States, China's People's Daily said." South Africa is obviously the largest economy in Africa. This works for South Africa as well, raising its position as a future global power and investment target. Martin "Davies said South Africa could better earn a seat on economic merit if it can integrate the economies of the Southern African Development Community -- a 15-state regional block."