China is South Africa's biggest trading partner.
Both South African Ramaphosa and Chinese President Xi Jinping have sounded warning bells over a growing global trend of protectionism and trade wars.
"We should be resolute in rejecting unilateralism", Xi said at the opening ceremony.
At the same time, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker is meeting with Trump on Wednesday at the White House to try and de-escalate the looming trade war.
"A trade war should be rejected because there will be no victor", he said.
Earlier this year, Curtis Chin, a former USA ambassador to the Asian Development Bank and managing director of advisory firm RiverPeak Group, told The National The UAE may well be a contender as the next Brics country.
"China is the most important trade country in this coalition and is likely to offset the negative impact from greater United States protectionism through increased domestic stimulus", said Madhur Jha, head of thematic research at Standard Chartered Bank.
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North Korea has accused South Korea of kidnapping them, while South Korea says they chose to resettle on their own will. "Also discussions are carrying and they're going very, very well ", Trump told reporters .
They were speaking at a three-day meeting of BRICS leaders in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mr Ramaphosa said: "We are concerned by the rise in unilateral measures that are incompatible with World Trade Organization rules and are anxious about the impact of these measures, especially on developing countries".
BRICS is an acronym of five emerging national economies Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and it was coined by a Goldman Sachs employee named Jim O'Neill.
"The collective rise of emerging markets and developing countries is unstoppable, and it will make global development more balanced and global peace more firmly based".
The rand climbed as much as 1.2 percent against the dollar and was 0.9 percent higher at 13.3447 at 2:30 p.m.in Johannesburg.
Possible future BRICS members and countries who have expressed interest in joining include: Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Nigeria, Sudan, Syria, Bangladesh and Greece.
According to Minister for Trade and Industry Rob Davies, who addressed the BRICS Business Forum: "South Africa is collateral damage in the current trade wars, as the global trading system is being rebalanced not in the interests of the majority, but in the interests of one party". He cited the country's ranking at 21 on the World Bank's Doing Business 2018 report and Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index 2016, on which the UAE is ranked as the 24th least corrupt out of 176 assessed economies, as potential reasons.