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'Brics goals in line with NDP'

President Zuma says Brics objectives & the goals of the National Development Plan are in line.

Caption: (L-R) Brazilian President Dilma Roussef, Russian President Vladimir Putin,Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chinese President Hu Jintao and South African President Jacob Zuma pose for group photo in Los Cabos, Mexico, June 18, 2012, during a BRICS's Presidents meeting before the opening of the G20 leaders Summit. Source: AFP

PRETORIA - President Jacob Zuma says the goals and vision of the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) group are in line with those outlined in the country's National Development Plan.

Zuma was speaking in Pretoria on Monday, ahead of the fifth annual summit which kicks off in Durban later Tuesday.

He says these objectives included the state playing a developmental role.

"[These objectives include] raising employment [levels] through faster economic growth, improving the quality of education, skills development and innovation."

He also says the importance of the emerging economies group was evident in trade relations between the Brics member states.

"In 2012, South Africa's total trade with the Brics countries stood at R294 billion."

Government says it hopes to host the Brics development bank, which will be announced at this summit.

More than 600 delegates from China, Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa will gather for the two-day summit.

It will be the first Brics Summit on African soil.

ZUMA DIARY FULL BEFORE BRICS

Meanwhile, the president has two big meetings ahead of the Brics summit today.

He is to first hold talks with new Chinese president Xi Jinping at the Union Building in Pretoria on Tuesday morning and then with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Durban later in the day.

The fifth Brics summit starts on Tuesday evening with an opening ceremony and a banquet hosted by Zuma.

In addition to the two presidents, Zuma will meet with his Brazilian and Indian counterparts, Dilma Rousseff and Manmohan Singh respectively.

Their talks will largely centre around spurring development and reforming international financial institutions.

Finance ministers will present their results of a feasibility study into the Brics development bank.

South Africa will chair the group for twelve months after the summit and hand the baton on to Brazil.