Evolution of BRICS
BRICS is a partnership of five leading emerging markets and developing countries, founded on historical bonds of friendship, solidarity and shared interests. Together, the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa represent over 42% of the global population, 30% of the world’s territory, 23% of GDP and 18% of global trade.
The relations between BRICS countries pre-date the 2001 Goldman Sachs report that popularised the acronym when discussing the return of BRIC countries as leaders of the global economy. One of the founding values of BRICS is the shared commitment to restructure the global political, economic, and financial architecture to be fair, balanced and representative, resting on the important pillars of multilateralism and international law. In this context, the Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China countries first met informally on the margins of the G8 Outreach Summit in St Petersburg, Russia, in July 2006.
Shortly afterwards, BRIC was formalised with the first BRIC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, held on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2006. The First BRIC Summit followed in Yekaterinburg, Russia, in June 2009. South Africa was invited to join BRICS in 2010 and attended the Third BRICS Summit, held in Sanya, China, in 2011.
The BRICS partnership has grown in scope and depth with BRICS members exploring practical cooperation in a spirit of openness and solidarity to find mutual interests and common values. Around 150 meetings are held annually across the three pillars of BRICS cooperation: political and security cooperation, financial and economic cooperation, and cultural and people-to-people cooperation. Over 30 agreements and memoranda of understanding provide a legal foundation for cooperation in the areas as diverse as the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, customs, tax, interbank cooperation, culture, science, technology and innovation, agricultural research, energy efficiency, competition policy and diplomatic academies.