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'No nuclear deals for SA yet' - Cyril Ramaphosa

29 July 2018

He spoke on the sidelines of a three-day BRICS summit attended by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) to reject protectionism.

"Across the board on trade related issues where India had problems, we are seeing forward movement in terms of delegations visiting China to discuss imports", Gokhale said at the press conference. "This is a trade war, so leaders' discussions are particularly important in coordinating our positions", he said. "Closer economic cooperation for shared prosperity is the original objective and priority of BRICS".

Chinese President Xi Jinping, following his visit to the UAE last week, has already used his arrival in Africa to forge friendships and consolidate influence with multibillion-dollar investments in the continent, including South Africa, which counts China as its biggest trading partner, Bloomberg reported.

Asked whether South Africa's close ties with China would not sour relations with the United States, Ramaphosa responded: "All of us in Brics are independent, free countries and we choose who to associate with - not to the exclusion of other countries".

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. "Presenting a unified voice and agenda on key issues impacting not only on BRICS, but equally (for) all countries globally, illustrates the BRICS' commitment to forging a better world", Prinsloo said.

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Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan will also attend a summit as the current chair of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Two people out of every five people on the planet is from a BRICS country.

The summit is running under the theme "BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution".

Xi also said the collective rise of emerging markets and developing countries "is unstoppable and will make global development more balanced".

"We have seen a rise in loans from $3 billion in 2016 to $9 billion past year in the energy and infrastructure projects mostly being driven by policy lenders China Development Bank and China Exim Bank", said Kieran Whyte, head of energy, mining and infrastructure at South African law firm Baker McKenzie.

He added that a considerable part of Russian initiatives provides for localising industrial businesses in Africa, including, among other things, the construction of plants manufacturing component parts and assembly works.

'No nuclear deals for SA yet' - Cyril Ramaphosa