Expectations are said to be high at the high-profile summit with the countries that are part of Brics.
For example, the five countries hope to pave the way for an alternative to the US dollar as a trade currency.
But few believe they will succeed.
Leaders of some of the world’s most populous countries are gathering for a summit in Johannesburg that begins on Tuesday.
“South Africa’s goal with international relations is to seek increased cooperation, secure greater trade opportunities and greater investment,” writes South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on X (formerly Twitter) ahead of the meeting.
Ramaphosa also hopes that the meeting will “consolidate peace and democracy”.
New member states
China, India, Brazil and Russia want to regain strength in the so-called Brics group together with the host country South Africa.
Among other things, the five countries will discuss the possibility of a trading currency that will compete with the US dollar. The countries must also consider whether Brics, named after the initials of the member countries, should be expanded. About 40 countries are showing interest.
The collection, officially the 15th, is an attempt to revive the collaboration that began in 2009 but has made little impact in the past decade.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping traveled to South Africa on Monday, as did Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Putin is absent
Russia, on the other hand, is represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. President Vladimir Putin is participating via video, as he is unable to travel to South Africa due to the international arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
The meeting between the countries, which together are home to around 42 percent of the world’s population, is supposed to show a new geopolitical force in world politics.
But the big question ahead of the meeting is whether the five countries – three democracies and two autocracies – can come together in a common economic and political platform.
The meeting lasts for two days.