South Africa has received a formal invitation to join the Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) group of large emerging economies, Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Dec. 24.
"China, in its capacity as rotating chairperson of the BRIC formation, based on agreement reached by the BRIC member states, invites South Africa as a full member into what will in future be called BRICS," Nkoana-Mashabane said in Pretoria.
She said she received a phone call from Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi informing her of the invitation to join the group, whose current members will account for 61% of global growth in 2014, according to the International Monetary Fund.
The BRIC countries are not formally linked but have held summits and taken steps to boost financial cooperation and investment opportunities among them.
The group held its first formal summit in Russia last year.
South Africa, whose economy is about one-fourth the size of India's, had been lobbying heavily to be admitted to the club.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010