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BRICS countries meet for annual summit in South Africa to discuss economic and security objectives

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BRICS countries meet for annual summit in South Africa to discuss economic and security objectives

A traffic policeman walks past a signage for BRICS Summit in Sanya
A traffic policeman walks past a signage for BRICS Summit in Sanya
Photo: Reuters/Jason Lee

The BRICS summit will see the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa descend on Johannesburg today and hold discussions over the next three days.

Talks are likely to focus on the United States becoming more trade-protectionist. US President Donald Trump’s March announcement about imposing a 10% tariff on aluminium and a 25% tariff on steel, affecting $60 billion worth of Chinese imports, provides strong incentive for BRICS nations to develop deeper trade ties.

The context of the BRICS conference is particularly advantageous for Brazil and South Africa. Brazilian sends more than a quarter of its exports to China, while Chinese investment into Brazil also rose to $11 billion last year. With South Africa holding the 2018 presidency, it is in a position to direct the three-day summit agenda.

Expect BRICS members to emerge from the summit with more definitive strategies to fortify their individual trade relations, giving the West greater competition in influencing global trade flow.

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