BRICS is an acronym for an international association that consists of the major national economies Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. BRICS together brings the five major economies and it compromises 43% of the world population, 30% of the world GDP and 17% share of the world trade. Before 2010, there were originally first four group consisting of Brazil, Russia, India and China and the group was called as BRIC. South Africa was inducted into the group in the year 2010 making the group called as BRICS. All the members of BRICS are also the G-20 members. BRICS was first formally formed with the motto of financial markets but later the emerging countries in the international economic order, BRICS became the new and promising political-diplomatic entity.
BRICS got its term BRIC by Jim O’Neill, the then chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management in his publication ‘Building Better Global Economics BRICs’. The foreign ministers of Brazil, Russia, India and China first met at the margins of the General Debate of the UN General Assembly held in New York in September 2006 and the meeting led to a series of high-level meeting and a full-scale meeting was held on 16th June 2009 in Yekaterinburg. The meeting was considered as the first formal summit of BRIC and it was attended by leaders of all the four countries which included Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from Brazil, Dmitry Medvedev from Russia, Manmohan Singh from India and Hu Jintao from China. The main focus of the summit was on improving the situation of global economics as well as reforming the financial institutions and getting more involved in global affairs. Later in 2010, South Africa made its attempt to join BRIC and later in December 2010, it formally became a member of the organization that led the group to rename itself to BRICS with S that stood for South Africa. There has been eight BRICS summit held and the latest was held in October 2016 hosted by India. The BRICS has been able to make few developments through its association and in the year 2012, the BRICS nations pledged $75 billion to boost the lending power of the International Monetary Fund and later in 2013 during the fifth BRICS annual summit, the members agreed to create global financial institutions that intended to rival the western-dominated IMF and World Bank. The BRICS member China committed $41 billion towards the pool whereas Russia, India and Brazil committed $18 billion each and South Africa committed $5 billion to the pool. In the 6th summit of BRICS held in Fortaleza, Brazil, the members of the group signed the long-anticipated document for the creation of US$100 billion New Development Bank and a reserve pool worth over another US$100 billion. At the end of October 2014, Brazil trimmed down its US government holdings to US$261.7 billion; India, US$77.5 billion; China, US$1.25 trillion; South Africa, US$10.3 billion. The 8th BRICS summit was held on 15th and 16th October in Goa, India and the theme of India’s BRICS Chairmanship was Building Responsive, Inclusive, and Collective Solutions. The focus of the summit was to enhance people to people contacts of BRICS member states especially youth and in this context, India has planned activities like U-17 Football Tournament, Youth Summit, Film Festival, Young Diplomats Forum etc.
Since 2012, the BRICS group of countries has been planning to set up an optical fibre submarine communications cable system which would help in carrying telecommunications between the BRICS countries and it will be titled as BRICS cable. One of the major motivation for this project was the spying of all the National Security Agency on all the telecommunications that flowed across the United States. Starting essentially with economic issues of mutual interest, the agenda of BRICS meetings has considerably widened over the years to encompass topical global issues. BRICS cooperation has two pillars – consultation on issues of mutual interest through meetings of Leaders as well as of Ministers of Finance, Trade, Health, S&T, Education, Agriculture, Communication, Labour, etc. and practical cooperation in a number of areas through meetings of Working Groups/Senior Officials. Regular annual Summits as well as meetings of Leaders on the margins of G20 Summits are held. The current attendees of the BRICS summit include Michel Temer, President of Brazil, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, Xi Jinping, President of China and Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa. The 9th BRICS summit will be held in 2017 in Peking, China and it will be hosted by President of China, Xi Jinping.