Annual BRICS Summit Begins Amid U.S.-led Global Trade War

Leaders of the BRICS emerging economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have gathered in Johannesburg on Wednesday for a three-day meeting focused on the threat of a U.S.-led global trade war, The Sentinel reports.

China’s President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Michel Temer will attend the annual summit, along with numerous guests.

The BRICS group, comprising more than 40 percent of the global population, represents some of the biggest emerging economies, but it has struggled to find a unified voice — as well as achieving sharply different growth rates.

Plans are in store to expand the group, so the leaders of Argentina, Turkey, Indonesia and some African countries have been invited to the summit.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will brief Moscow’s BRICS partners on his talks with U.S. leader Donald Trump at the group’s summit in Johannesburg, which begins on Wednesday. BRICS member-states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will also discuss joint measures against the protectionist trade policy pursued by Trump, Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin told Kommersant.

“Now is a very good time to show that BRICS members and relations between them are an alternative to the format existing in the West,” adding that “BRICS favors order, compliance with agreements and development,” Georgy Toloraya, executive director of the Russian National Committee for BRICS Research, told Kommersant.