BRICS represents the first important non-Western global initiative in the post-Cold War world. It brings together five major emerging powers located in different parts of the world — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, with the first letter in their names making up the acronym BRICS. In fact, the BRICS grouping can be called the R-5, after the names of its members’ currencies — the real, ruble, rupee, renminbi, and rand.
The foreign ministers of the initial four BRIC states (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) met in New York City in September 2006, beginning a series of high-level meetings. A full-scale diplomatic meeting was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on May 16, 2008.
* First summit
The BRIC grouping's first formal summit commenced in Yekaterinburg on June 16, 2009, with Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Dmitry Medvedev, Manmohan Singh, and Hu Jintao, the respective leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China, all attending. The summit's focus was on means of improving the global economic situation and reforming financial institutions, and discussed how the four countries could better co-operate in the future. There was further discussion of ways that developing countries, such as the BRIC members, could become more involved in global affairs.
According to Forbes, "The general consensus is that the term was first prominently used in a Goldman Sachs report from 2003, which speculated that by 2050 these four economies would be wealthier than most of the current major economic powers."
* Entry of South Africa
In March 2012, South Africa appeared to join BRIC, which thus became BRICS. At that time, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa met in India to discuss the formation of a development bank to pool resources. At that point, the BRIC countries were responsible for about 18% of the world's Gross Domestic Product and were home to 40% of the earth's population.
* BRICS summits
The grouping has held annual summits since 2009, with member countries taking turns to host. Prior to South Africa's admission, two BRIC summits were held in 2009 and 2010. The first five-member BRICS summit was held in 2011. The most recent summit took place in New Delhi, India, on March 29, 2012.
Summit| Members| Date| Host| Hosting President| Host City| 1st | BRIC| 16 June 2009| Russia| Dimitry Medvedev| Yekaterinburg| 2nd| BRIC| 16 April 2010| Brazil| Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva| Brasilia| 3rd| BRICS| 14 April 2011| China| Hu Jintao| Sanya|
4th| BRICS| 29 March 2012| India| Manmohan Singh| New Delhi| 5th| BRICS| 2013| South Africa| Jacob Zuma| TBA|
Purpose, Importance of BRICS
Development and prosperity is the common purpose of BRICS countries. The BRICS cooperation mechanism is not directed against any country or any system. The main reasons as to why these countries were envisaged to be the next global forces were their enormous reserves of natural resources, land, as well as manpower.
Developed countries mainly established the existing world economic system and as latecomers to industrialization, BRICS countries hold the same belief as all other emerging economies that the current world economic order is unfair and unreasonable. The reason is that it can neither adapt to the changing global economic structure nor satisfy emerging markets' common needs of economic transformation.
It is under the current world economic system that BRICS countries have grown rapidly and made constructive contributions to the world development. Given the benefits they have enjoyed, BRICS nations prefer gradual reform of the current economic system to complete abandonment.
Stature of BRICS
The five emerging economies under the BRICS umbrella on Thursday, aware of their growing global stature, offered the most audacious challenge to the old economic order by proposing to trade among themselves in their local...