BRICS is an acronym for the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The term was coined in 2001 by economist Jim O’Neill in his report, Building Better Global Economic BRICs.
O’Neill predicted that the fast-growing BRICs countries would collectively dominate the global economy by 2050. Russia, India and China are among the world’s ten largest economies. All five countries are members of the G20, with a combined global share of GDP at 26 percent (current prices) in 2022.
The first BRIC Ministerial Meeting was held on the margins of a UN General Assembly Session in New York on September 20, 2006. Ministers of Foreign Affairs from Russia, Brazil and China and the Indian defense minister attended the meeting and expressed interest in expanding multilateral cooperation.
On June 16, 2009, the first BRIC summit took place in Russia. BRIC leaders issued a joint statement after the summit, setting forth the goals of BRIC and outlined ways to cope with the global financial and economic crisis.
South Africa officially joined the association on December 24, 2010 after a Chinese-initiated invitation, making it BRICS. South Africa has so far been the only African country in the group and the only additional member admitted.
The New Development Bank (NDB) was established during the BRICS summit held in Fortaleza, Brazil on July 15, 2014 to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS countries and other emerging economies.
The multilateral development bank started operations on July 21, 2015. In September 2021, Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Egypt joined the NDB.
South Africa proposed a further expansion in 2018, and discussions began in earnest last year. BRICS expansion will be high on the agenda of this year’s summit.
It is the growing economic might of BRICS countries, their substantial population and abundant natural resources that form the foundation of their influence on the international scene.
Brazil is the largest country in the southern hemisphere. Russia is a giant of resources having all elements in Mendeleev’s periodic table. India is the most populous country. China is the world’s second largest economy and world’s factory. South Africa is extremely rich in mineral resources.
Source: CGTN, 18 Aug 2023. https://news.cgtn.com/news/2023-08-18/Chart-of-the-Day-The-origin-of-the-BRICS-1mmwCO1DqmI/index.html