China's Xi opens BRICS summit in South Africa

China to invest $14b in South Africa

China's President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Michel Temer will attend the annual summit, along with several African leaders invited as guests.

President Cyril Ramaphosa met his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on Tuesday at the Union Buildings on the Chinese's President's official state visit.

Trade tension between the USA and the rest of the world poses a risk to the global economy, with the International Monetary Fund warning earlier in July that it could lead to decline in global growth by as much as 0.5% by 2020, or about $430bn in lost GDP worldwide.

"It is hard to deny that the global market sentiment continues to be manipulated in large extents by the trade war uncertainties, which many think represent the largest risk to the world economy since the global financial crisis", Global Head of Currency Strategy and Market Research at FXTM Jameel Ahmad told AFP.

"Brics is a way to build financial development where Brics countries don't have to go to the World Bank for funding", Mathekga said.

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This year's summit is themed "BRICS in Africa, collaboration for inclusive growth and shared prosperity in the 4th Industrial revolution ".

Xi called on the developing world to rise against USA protectionism, warning that the tariffs that the world's biggest economy had imposed on imports would have far-reaching implications for emerging nations and markets.

U.S. President Donald Trump earlier on Wednesday accused China of "vicious" tactics on trade, tweeting that China was specifically targeting U.S. farmers with retaliatory tariffs because "they know I love & respect" them.

The BRICS group, comprising more than 40 percent of the global population, represents some of the biggest emerging economies, but it has struggled to find a unified voice - as well as achieving sharply different growth rates.

President Cyril Ramaphosa warned the BRICS countries about the challenges for developing countries emanating from the "rise in unilateral measures which are incompatible with World Trade Organisation rules".

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"Unilateralism and protectionism are mounting, dealing a severe blow to multilateralism and the multilateral trading regime", he said.

The US has also imposed duties on South African steel and aluminium products, citing national security concerns, while tariffs on automotive products have been mooted.

He revealed that the inward quantum investment to South Africa by Brics countries between 2003 and 2017 was a mere $18-billion.

BRICS takes up 26 per cent of the world's land mass.

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