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South Africa adds new momentum to BRIC mechanism

BEIJING, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- South Africa's entry into BRIC at the end of 2010, without doubt, would promote the group's prominence in the world and boost cooperation among emerging economies, analysts and media said.

However, they said South Africa needs to exert greater efforts to develop its own economy in order to play a bigger role in mitigating the world economy's imbalances together with BRIC countries -- Brazil, Russia, India and China.

After South Africa's joining, BRIC was renamed as BRICS.

BRIC's acceptance of South Africa as a full member was a mutually beneficial and strategic choice, South African media said.

"We believe that South Africa's accession will promote the development of BRIC and enhance cooperation between emerging economies," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu told a briefing on Tuesday.

Chinese President Hu Jintao had issued an invitation letter to South African President Jacob Zuma, inviting him to attend the third BRIC leaders' meeting to be held in Beijing in 2011, Jiang said.

She also said cooperation among BRIC countries was stable, mutually beneficial, open and transparent.

Brazil's leading newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo said the trend that emerging economies and developing countries serve as new engines for world economic growth, with South Africa's entry into BRIC, would become more prominent.

Developing countries would play a bigger and more positive role in realizing prosperity of the world economy, it added.

Some Indian experts said South Africa's joining would not only benefit cooperation among BRICS countries, but be conducive to the economic development of Africa and even the world.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that South Africa's entry was "in line with sustainable trends of global development, including the emergence of a polycentric international system."

"The entry of (South Africa), an active participant in the G20 and the largest economic power in Africa, will not only increase the total economic weight of our association but also will help build up opportunities for mutually beneficial practical cooperation within BRIC," the ministry said.

However, some new problems also emerge with the enlargement of BRIC.

South Africa's Pretoria News newspaper recently said the country's trade growth far lags behind BRIC countries, adding South Africa needs to strengthen cooperation with them in order to play an important role in boosting ties between Africa and them.

Andrie Pineri, a researcher of Brazil's Institute of Applied Economic Research, told Xinhua recently that South Africa's entry into BRIC surely would boost the group's influence in the world economy.

However, Pineri said emerging economies need to more closely arrange their cooperation timetable to lessen the long-term North-South gap and reduce the world economy's imbalances.

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