Chinese President Xi Jinping and leaders of four other major emerging economies gathered here on Wednesday for the fifth BRICS summit to promote cooperation.
Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, collectively known as BRICS, are expected to endorse plans to establish a development bank and a foreign exchange reserves pool in a bid to deepen cooperation among the five emerging economies.
"As an important part of financial cooperation, the bank will help BRICS sustain financial risks and provide support for the development of African countries," said Ma Zhaoxu, assistant foreign minister of China, last week.
Under the theme of "BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialization," the BRICS summit will for the first time be joined by African leaders, with BRICS-Africa cooperation high on the agenda.
Xi, who is on his first trip abroad as Chinese President, is expected to outline China's viewpoints on BRICS-African cooperation.
He has hailed the significance of holding the BRICS summit for the first time on the African continent along with the first BRICS Leaders-Africa Dialogue Forum.
"I look forward to discussing plans of cooperation with leaders of other BRICS countries and African nations. I believe that with concerted efforts of all participants, the meeting will be a successful one and take the solidarity and cooperation of developing countries to a new high," he said upon arrival in South Africa.
The BRICS countries account for 42 percent of the world's population, 20 percent of the world's economic output and 15 percent of global trade.
(Xinhua News Agency March 27, 2013)