Xi urges fellow BRICS countries to reject go-it-alone trade

Xi urges fellow BRICS countries to reject go-it-alone trade

Xi urges fellow BRICS countries to reject go-it-alone trade

The annual summit of the coterie of emerging economic powers first identified by former Goldman Sachs Asset Management chairman Jim O'Neill is the 10th since its leaders started meeting, and the first since the prospect of a full-blown global trade war became a real threat.

Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses a banquet hosted by his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa for his state visit and the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties between China and South Africa, in Pretoria July 24, 2018.

Xi arrived in South Africa ahead of a summit of BRICS emerging economies - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - starting on Wednesday.

"Unilateralism and protectionism are mounting, dealing a severe blow to multilateralism", he said. China has retaliated to American tariffs with duties on some USA products.

Trump has already slapped levies on goods from China worth tens of billions of dollars as well as tariffs on steel and aluminium from the EU, Canada and Mexico.

Ramaphosa, who has promised to revive the economy since becoming president in February and after winning the leadership of the ruling African National Congress previous year, said "Xi has indicated that China is ready to invest and work with South Africa in various sectors".

The South African president also pledged to implement the consensus reached between the two sides and deepen all-round cooperation in such areas as economy, trade, technology and people-to-people exchanges.

Sreeram Chaulia, of the Jindal School of International Affairs outside Delhi, said BRICS leaders "concur that the U.S. has unleashed punitive trade wars that are hurting all the BRICS members". Xi's country has the most at stake in a potential trade conflict, accounting for the bulk of the combined GDP of about $17-trillion that Brics represents.

"We are looking to promote investment-led trade", Davies said. "The urgency this time is greater", he said.

Brazil, Russia, India and China invited South Africa to join the group in December 2010.

The meeting opens on Wednesday afternoon with a business forum, before the heads of state hold talks on Thursday.

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