JOHANNESBURG, March 21 (Reuters) - The heartyself-congratulation with which South Africa welcomed itsaccession to the BRIC grouping of major emerging countries hasbeen met with a deafening silence from...
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lmost all of South Africa's exports to the BRIC states are relatively low value raw commodities while it imports value-added finished goods. The mix is not likely to change, especially when the pay of a South African factory worker is three to six times higher than that of a Chinese worker, who is also more efficient.
The most appealing items South Africa and its neighbours offer the original BRIC states are thecommodities they need to power their economies.
By setting up in South Africa, the BRICS partners can gain access to the regional grouping SADC - Southern African Development Community - 15 countries with a total GDP of around $575 billion and a population of about 260 million, where South Africa is the driving force.
It includes fast growing economies such as Angola, one of Africa's biggest oil producers, Botswana, the world's biggest diamond producer, and Mozambique, with untapped coal reserves that have attracted billions of dollars in investment from Brazilian mining company Vale.
"South Africa extends the group into Africa, strengthening its status as a representative of 'emerging markets' writ large, versus the 'developed markets' which typically dominated multilaterals like the IMF," said Eurasia Group's Rosenberg. (Additional reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Giles Elgood)"