China’s Xi promises $14.7 billion of investment during South Africa visit

Hannah Rogers
July 26, 2018

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.

Leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are meeting to discuss trade co-operation and other issues.

"We are meeting here, ladies and gentlemen, at a time when the multilateral trading system is facing unprecedented challenges", Ramaphosa said.

Sharing the stage with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at the start of Brics 10th summit, Ramaphosa singled out the bank's establishment as "one of the most important achievements of the first decade of Brics".

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.

"China is ready to invest and work with South Africa in various sectors, such as infrastructure development, ocean economy, green economy, science and technology, agriculture, environment and finance", Ramaphosa told reporters.

"We are concerned by the rise in unilateral measures that are incompatible with World Trade Organisation rules, and we are anxious about the impact of these measures", South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told the summit's opening session.

In the face of growing protectionism globally, South Africa needs to focus on being more competitive rather than fixating on external factors, Fuzile said.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa right shakes hand with Chinese President Xi Jinping after a joint press conference at the government's Union Buildings in Pretoria South Africa Tuesday

The BRICS countries comprise more than 40% of the global population but have never worked as a co-ordinated economic bloc.

Analysts say its members have struggled to find a unified voice, but their common opposition to United States trade policy could help to galvanise them.

Sreeram Chaulia, of the Jindal School of International Affairs outside Delhi, told AFP that BRICS leaders would "concur that the USA has unleashed punitive trade wars that are hurting all the BRICS members".

Signalling diplomatic rivalry over influence in Africa, PM Modi visited Rwanda and Uganda on his own five-day tour of the continent including the BRICS summit. The summit runs through Friday with various heads of BRICS attending.

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

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

From new global growth drivers to the worldwide landscape and the global governance system, Chinese President Xi Jinping here Wednesday shared his thoughts on the changes the world is going to witness in the next decade.

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