On November 20, 2001, Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill was the first to coin the acronym “BRIC” to refer to Brazil, Russia, India and China. When South Africa joined in December2010, the name was changed to BRICS.
BRICS countries are all emerging economies with vast territories, large populations, rich resources and great economic potential. Collectively, BRICS members account for 29.6 percent of the world territory and 42.6 percent of the world population. According to data from International Monetary Fund (IMF), BRICS countries contributed more than half of world economic growth over the past decade. BRICS countries are expected to grow faster than both developed economies and other emerging economies by 2030.
The BRICS mechanism aims to boost the rise of developing nations as a whole, reform the international currency and financial system, and balance development of the world economy. Today, the mechanism facilitates cooperation on many levels including meetings of state leaders, senior security delegates and foreign ministers.
Facts and Figures
In 2001, when the name of BRIC was first introduced by Goldman Sachs, no regular mechanisms were established. Foreign ministers and leaders of BRIC countries only met on the sidelines of broader international meetings. Not until May 14 to 16, 2008 did foreign ministers of BRIC countries gather in Russia for the first BRIC foreign ministers’ meeting that officially launched the BRIC cooperation mechanism.
Time: June 2009
Location: Yekaterinburg, Russia
Key issue: New voice of emerging economies
Outcomes: This was the first official meeting of BRIC leaders. They called for a more diversified monetary system and promised to promote reform of international financial institutions. This meeting, against the backdrop of the unstable situation after the 2008 international financial crisis, gave a stronger voice of emerging economies in the international community.
Time: April 2010
Location: Brasília, Brazil
Key issue: Formation of a cooperative mechanism
Outcomes: BRIC leaders exchanged views on global economics and finance, international monetary institution reform, climate change, and dialogues and cooperation among BRIC countries. The joint statement at the summit detailed measures on cooperation and coordination, marking the initial formation of the cooperative mechanism among BRIC countries.
Time: April 2011
Location: Sanya, China
Theme: Broad Vision, Shared Prosperity
Key issue: Strengthening financial cooperation
Outcomes: New member South Africa attended the summit for the first time. During this summit, BRICS leaders agreed to reinforce financial cooperation among BRICS countries. They reaffirmed that the governance structure of global economic and financial institutions should reflect changes in the world economic situation and that emerging economies and all developing countries should have more say in international affairs.
Time: March 2012
Location: New Delhi, India
Theme: BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Security and Prosperity
Key issue: Cooperation in more areas
Outcomes: This summit resulted in the signing of the Master Agreement on Extending Credit Facility in Local Currency and the Multilateral Letter of Credit Confirmation Facility Agreement, greatly advancing trade and investment cooperation among BRICS countries. This summit appealed directly to the reform of global governance, more comprehensive international financial architecture, and a stronger voice of developing countries.
Time: March 2013
Location: Durban, South Africa
Theme: BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialization
Key issue: Extensive participation of African countries
Outcomes: This was the first BRICS summit to be held in Africa. Leaders from 15 African nations including Angola, the Republic of Congo and Egypt also attended the summit. The meeting stressed BRICS countries’ willingness to cooperate with African countries in infrastructure and promote connectivity among the countries, in hopes of unleashing their full economic potential.
Time: July 2014
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
Theme: Inclusive Growth: Sustainable Solutions
Outcomes: BRICS leaders signed the agreement to establish the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Agreement.
Time: July 2015
Location: Ufa, Russia
Theme: BRICS Partnership – A Powerful Factor of Global Development
Key issue: Establishment of New Development Bank
Outcomes: BRICS states signed the Agreement on the New Development Bank, marking greater influence of BRICS countries in the global financial system as emerging economies.