The fact that S.A. is there, and is offering a bailout is a very good thing. This bailout will by no means come free of charge to the Eurozone nations, it is a potential source of income for our nation.
It is also good that we are, by association, benefitting from the leadership of other nations especially as we are so lacking in terms of leadership.
Someone in our government is making the right connections, for now atleast. Let's profit from the lift that BRICS may give us.
please explain what economic lift BRICS gives us ? its nice because it makes us look "important". FYI Bok, the monies lent to Greece over the years didnt just come free of charge in retrospect ... Greece is NEVER going to pay back half that debt. but im sure its the same with our billions "given" to Swazi, Zim et al. lets see what we get back.
You really think so?
I thought association with China and associating with a group that is in a much different (higher) league was generally bad. These associations have a potential of only benefiting the BRIC (without the S) from our strategic position in relation to our continent and not benefiting our country at all.
As you mentioned our leadership is not as strong as it needs to be in the global community and as we focus on overseas policy too much we neglect continental policy which could prove a bad move in the long run.
SA can't offer support by itself, but as a member of BRICS it can (mainly through China). Emerging economies are where the real growth potential is, so an association with countries like the BRIC could be extremely beneficial, especially bearing in mind those countries represent about 40% of the world's population. Obviously, it requires specialisation and careful trade negotiations so that our domestic producers aren't brushed aside, but opening up markets of around 3 billion people can't hurt our trade.
Also, having strong allies means a greater voice in international affairs and a potentially a move towards a rebalancing of international power. It remains to be seen if we use this relationship to our advantage, but the US and Europe openly engage with BRIC countries so why would it be automatically a bad thing for us?
Also, an association with a "higher league" group is not a bad thing. It provides massive opportunities for "catching up" and technology transfer, besides the obvious trade possibilities. Gaining an improved position for the emerging markets in the IMF, for example, could move us towards a better allocation of funds globally.
All that being said, the BRICS is really just a loose association among the major countries on the "developing continents", Africa, South America and Asia. There are no set policies or collective actions that I'm aware of, although the move is towards such agreements in the medium term.
@ Gierg .. China/the East is already our biggest trading partner, before we were even had a sniff of getting in BRIC. it used to be the EU ... well no more. well I was listening to some educated minds on Bloomberg about SA's participation in BRIC, and the consensus was that economically its really gonna do very little for us and many wondered how we even got included in BRIC. it might be different for BRIC tho. like i said, sure it makes us look good. compared to the BRIC's we look like pip squeaks which sure doesnt buy us bargaining power with them anyway. your last paragraph sums it up quite well.
At this point, I'd agree, it's going to have little real economic impact, but I feel (and it's just my opinion) that being part of group of major emerging economies will have benefits for us. We, as SA, don't have much power in international negotiations, with the BRIC countries on our side, that may improve. Of course, the flipside is that our voice could get lost amongst those powerhouses and we will be forced to take up positions against some countries that won't be in our interest. I don't think it's necessarily a good or bad thing, it's what policies are collectively decided on that will be the deciding factor. I'd say it's still early days in our BRICS membership. Also, I'm inclined to believe the only reason we were invited was because of our position in Africa, as you say, we are pip squeaks compared to the other members. Time will tell.