JOHANNESBURG – Leaders of the Brics emerging economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — will attend day two of the annual three-day summit, with attention focused on the threat of a US-led global trade war.
The meeting opened on Wednesday with a business forum before the heads of state hold talks on Thursday.
On Wednesday, China’s President Xi Jinping said that there would be “no winner” in any global trade war, in a direct warning to US President Donald Trump who has threatened to slap levies on all Chinese imports.
“A trade war should be rejected because there will be no winner,” Xi said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Michel Temer are attending the summit, along with several African leaders invited as guests.
“South Africa, and Africa more broadly, can benefit from increasing exports to fast-growing countries like India and China,” said Kenneth Creamer, an economist at Wits University.
“Brics has the strategic potential to re-shape world trade.”
Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan will also attend a summit as the current chair of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and will meet Putin on the summit’s sidelines.