BRICS: History of BRICS

History of BRICS

BRICS is an informal group of states comprising the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South-Africa.

Russia initiated the creation of BRICS.

On 20 September 2006, the first BRICS Ministerial Meeting was held at the proposal of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the margins of a UN General Assembly Session in New York. Foreign ministers of Russia, Brazil and China and the Indian Defence Minister took part in the meeting. They expressed their interest in expanding multilateral cooperation.

On 16 May 2008, Yekaterinburg hosted Meeting of BRICS Foreign Ministers on the initiative of Russia. After the meeting, a Joint Communique was issued, reflecting common stances on topical global development issues.

Another important step was taken on 9 July 2008, when Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao on the margins of the G8 Summit in Toyako, Japan, on the Russian initiative.

On the Russian initiative on 16 June 2009, Yekaterinburg hosted the first BRIC Summit. BRIC Leaders issued a joint statement after the Summit. The document set forth the goals of BRIC “to promote dialogue and cooperation among our countries in an incremental, proactive, pragmatic, open and transparent way. The dialogue and cooperation of the BRIC countries is conducive not only to serving common interests of emerging market economies and developing countries, but also to building a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.” The document outlined a common perception of ways to cope with the global financial and economic crisis.

The growing economic might of BRICS countries, their significance as one of the main driving forces of global economic development, their substantial population and abundant natural resources form the foundation of their influence on the international scene.

In 2013, BRICS accounted for about 27 percent of the global GDP (in terms of the purchasing power parity of their national currencies). The total BRICS population is 2.88 billion (42 percent of the entire global population), and the five countries cover 26 percent of the planet’s land.

Relations between BRICS partners are built on the UN Charter, generally recognised principles and norms of international law and the following principles, which were agreed by member countries at their 2011 Summit: openness, pragmatism, solidarity, non-bloc nature and neutrality with regard to third parties.

BRICS work is based on action plans approved during annual summits since 2010.

Apart from joint events involving executive agencies and the judiciary branch, business organisations and research centres cooperate within the BRICS format.

In 2009-2016 BRICS countries focused on the following joint priorities. They worked out a common stance on certain regional problems, including the Libyan, Syrian and Afghan problems and the Iranian nuclear programme. They also reached common agreement on financial and economic issues, including World Bank and IMF reforms, measures to ensure that sufficient resources can be mobilized to the IMF to strengthen its anti-crisis potential, the creation of BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism which provides for Extending Credit Facility in Local Currency and the establishment of the BRICS Exchanges Alliance.

BRICS is successfully expanding its external relations that were established at the Durban meeting between the five BRICS leaders, the leaders of the African Union and the leaders of eight leading African integration associations. On 16 July 2014, Brasilia hosted the second meeting in this format involving South American heads of state and government. This practice makes it possible to find important points of contact between BRICS and new leading centres of power that are emerging worldwide.

The 6th BRICS Summit (Fortaleza and Brasilia, 15-16 July 2014) produced a highly important result. The sides signed the Agreement on the New Development Bank and the Treaty for the Establishment of a BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement. These institutions will possess a total of $200 billion.

The Leaders also adopted a key decision on launching comprehensive talks regarding the BRICS Strategy for Economic Partnership and a draft BRICS Roadmap for BRICS Trade, Economic and Investment Cooperation.

BRICS leaders reached an agreement  to open a number of new spheres of cooperation, initiated by the Russian Presidency – in the field of youth, migration, industry, energy, peacekeeping, environment, fight against infectious diseases etc.

The Russian side also presented a Roadmap for trade-economic and investment cooperation between the BRICS countries up to 2020 year, which currently includes more than 60 proposals of cooperation from Russian companies.

In 2016, India became the head of the Association. The culmination of its presidency was the eighth summit of BRICS, which was held in the Indian state of Goa on 15-16 October. Its motto was “The Formation of popular, inclusive and collective decisions”. The leaders of five countries signed the Declaration of Goa, which expressed a coherent position on issues related to the development of the Association and critical issues.

At the summit in Goa were discussed the issues of energy, trade, banking cooperation, agriculture, space utilization and other common spaces, health, education, development of humanitarian contacts and tourism, the fight against poverty and social inequality. In addition to the Declaration was signed a number of sectoral agreements.

The BRICS presidency in 2017 were transferred to China, in 2018 – to South Africa, in 2019 – to Brazil and in 2020 – to Russia.

Summit of the BRICS will be held in St. Peterburg in July.

  1. Emergence of the BRIC concept: The term “BRIC” was coined in 2001 by Jim O’Neill, an economist at Goldman Sachs, to represent the four major emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. O’Neill predicted that these countries would become increasingly influential in the global economy.
  1. First BRIC summit (2009): The first official BRIC summit was held in 2009 in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, and China discussed economic cooperation and global issues. This marked the formalization of the BRIC grouping.
  2. Inclusion of South Africa (2010): South Africa was invited to join BRIC, expanding the group into BRICS. This decision was made at the third BRIC summit held in 2010 in Brasília, Brazil. The inclusion of South Africa was seen as a step towards greater representation of the African continent within the group.
  3. Annual summits: Since 2009, BRICS countries have held annual summits to discuss various economic, political, and strategic issues. These summits provide a platform for leaders to exchange views, coordinate policies, and strengthen cooperation.
  4. Expansion of cooperation: Over the years, BRICS cooperation has expanded beyond economic issues to include areas such as science and technology, energy, agriculture, health, and security. BRICS countries have also established various mechanisms for cooperation, such as the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA).
  5. Challenges and opportunities: While BRICS countries represent significant economic potential, they also face various challenges, including divergent interests, economic disparities, geopolitical tensions, and global uncertainties. However, BRICS leaders have emphasized the importance of cooperation and solidarity in addressing common challenges and pursuing shared interests.

Overall, the history of BRICS reflects the evolving dynamics of global governance and the increasing influence of emerging economies in shaping the global agenda.