South Africa has said it would strive for closer co-operation with emerging economies, including India, as strategic partnerships were crucial for its international relations.
"We will continue to work with countries and organisations of the developing south...For us, the strategic partnership with India, Brazil and China constitutes a critical pillar of our international relations," South Africa President Jacob G Zuma said.
Addressing South Africa's Parliament during its budget vote debate, Zuma said that the global financial crisis has severely affected its economy, causing massive job losses and unrest in the domestic market.
Zuma said around 1.79 lakh jobs had been lost in the first quarter of this year on account of the global financial turmoil and highlighted the restoration of discipline in the economy as the biggest challenge before the Government.
"We are now being hit by the full force of the recession. Many jobs have been lost. The quarterly employment survey of formal sector businesses reported that the first quarter of 2009 saw the loss of 1,79,000 jobs," Zuma said.
The most affected sectors are retail and wholesale, financial, manufacturing, mining and construction," he said.