DEPUTY President Kgalema Motlanthe yesterday called on developed countries of the north to level the playing field so that developing countries, particularly in Africa, also benefited from international trade.
He expressed concern over Africa's muted voice in policy making in global trade, economic and financial institutions, according to a speech prepared for delivery at the Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, Germany.
His comments, described as "diplomatic" by an analyst, are still uncharacteristic of Mr Motlanthe - who usually steers clear of controversy - and he seems to be taking up the African agenda on the international stage.
Africa and the developing world have long bemoaned the unfair trading patterns where developed countries are largely beneficiaries of trade partnerships. Mr Motlanthe said it was imperative to address the imbalances in wealth between the industrialised countries of the north and the developing countries of the south.
"We must acknowledge that, generally speaking, increased globalisation and economic interdependence - a powerful impetus to liberalisation of trade flows, finance, information and technological change - remain a pre-requisite for strong global growth," he said.