Moves to curb trade protectionism and the need to bolster multilateralism in the running of global affairs are expected to dominate discussions during the meeting of the five-member BRICS economic grouping on Thursday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will host his counterparts from Brazil, Russia, India and China on a retreat at Maropeng, north-west of Johannesburg, site of a centre devoted to the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site.

Chinese leader Xi Jin-Ping, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Michel Temer and Russian President Vladimir Putin are already in the country.

The past 48 hours have been hectic for President Ramaphosa who has been hard at work welcoming visiting Heads of State, whilst his cabinet ministers have been hosting top business executives to re-assure them that his administration will continue embracing the ideals of the BRICS economic bloc.

The main message has been the need to increase intra-BRICS trade and investment cooperation, with strong emphasis on the promotion of value-addition on all commodities produced in South Africa and the rest of the continent.

Other African leaders expected to attend the BRICKS-outreach meeting on Thursday include Paul Kagame of Rwanda, his Angolan counterpart Joao Lourenco, and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

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