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Wednesday, 06 June 2012

South Africa's shift runs risk of backfiring

According to Roeland van de Geer, head of the EU delegation to South Africa, the policy of favouring its fellow BRICS members India and China for development funding while shunning the West may backfire on South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC). “Attack us - that is fine. It does not matter. But don't say that in this economic period we don't need each other because that undermines the relationship", he states.
While the ANC has sent mixed messages to Western countries about how welcome their capital is in Africa's largest economy, a top official said last week that these were decreasing in importance."If you get these remarks without nuance, it spoils a lot. I cannot correct that. The damage is done" Mr. van de Geer stressed.
According to a statement by the ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe to Reuters, the continent's largest economies were shunning "sulking" Western investors and adopting a "Look East" policy to stimulate their growth.
Even if South Africa is increasingly tying its economic and diplomatic fortunes to emerging nations, the EU remains South Africa's largest overall trading partner, with the bulk of South Africa's exports to the 27-member bloc being manufactured goods.

Source: Reuters