South Africa-China multi-lateral co-operation: BRICS and FOCAC
The 21st Century has witnessed the emergence of a number of non-western powers, many of which have entered into formal partnerships, driven predominantly by a common development agenda. A prominent engagement within this new context is the China-South Africa relationship which, in recent years, has been strengthened through both bi-lateral exchanges as well as various multi-lateral frameworks. Two major partnerships include BRICS, an association of five major emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, and FOCAC, the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation – a triennial ministerial meeting whose aim is to enhance co-operation between China and African states at multiple levels. South Africa’s inclusion in the BRICS grouping bestows on it a prestigious position in the continent as well as in the global arena. At the upcoming FOCAC VI in 2015, it is expected that South Africa as co-chair will yet again show its commitment in taking initiatives to resolve Africa’s challenges. This Policy Brief discusses the importance of South Africa’s growing role in these groupings with a focus on how its membership can contribute to South Africa’s sustainable development and help it to garner opportunities.