The summit bringing together some of the world's leading emerging economies, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - referred to as the Brics, is now drawing to close here in Johannesburg.

One gets a sense that beyond the photo opportunities, gala dinners and hand-printing ceremonies that the five-nation alliance is deepening rather than weakening.

The final agreement signed by all countries, known as the Johannesburg declaration, makes it very clear that it will not be business as usual for the richest countries in the world.

They came here to reject unilateralism and this club may even expand to include other emerging economies such as Turkey, Mexico and Indonesia.

But they have also recommitted themselves to the respect of multilateral institutions like the UN.

You could say that this summit's purpose was to send a clear message to the US president, who was never once mentioned by name.

China's President Xi Jinping could not have put it more succinctly than when he told us "there are no winners in trade wars".