The leaders of three of the developing world's most influential nations - South Africa, Brazil and India - are meeting to bolster their alliance.
India, South Africa and Brazil want to reduce dependence on the West
At the South African summit, stalled world trade talks and co-operation in energy and access to natural resources are expected to be on the agenda.
The countries have been discussing a free trade deal.
Correspondents say the three nations are trying to ease their reliance on trade with Europe and the US.
All three countries also have ambitions to join the UN Security Council.
South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki will be hosting his Indian and Brazilian counterparts in the capital, Pretoria.
India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Johannesburg after a visit this week to Nigeria - thought to be part of an effort by India to compete for energy and markets with China and the West.
Meanwhile, Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva, on a four-nation tour of Africa, is urging countries on the continent to take up the use of biofuels as a way of improving their economic independence.