BRICS

BRICS: Forging a New Path in Global Politics and Economics

BRICS, Foreign Policy, India's Foreign Policy, International Relations, Political Science

BRICS

Introduction

BRICS, an acronym representing five prominent emerging national economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, has become a compelling force in the global arena. Since its inception, this alliance has significantly impacted the economic, political, and social landscape of the world. In this detailed blog, we will delve into the history, significance, and key developments of the BRICS grouping, exploring its journey and potential for the future.

Origins and Evolution of BRICS

The seeds of BRICS were sown in 2001 when British Economist Jim O’Neill coined the term BRIC, identifying Brazil, Russia, India, and China as rapidly developing economies. This recognition led to a series of discussions and interactions among these nations. It wasn’t until the first BRIC Foreign Ministers’ meeting in 2006 that the group began to formalize its existence. Finally, in 2009, during the inaugural formal summit held in Yekaterinburg, Russia, BRIC officially became BRICS with the inclusion of South Africa.

Key Statistics

BRICS, collectively representing 42% of the world’s population, exerts substantial influence on the global stage. These nations contribute approximately 23% of the global GDP, and their combined share of world trade is estimated to be around 17%. This economic prowess underscores their significance in shaping global policies and agendas.

Annual Summits and Rotating Chairmanship:

Since 2009, BRICS nations have consistently held annual formal summits, providing them with a platform for addressing crucial issues and fostering cooperation. A distinctive feature of BRICS is the annual rotation of its chairmanship among the member countries, aligning with the acronym BRICS. In 2022, China held the chairmanship, continuing this tradition of equal representation among the member nations.

The New Development Bank (NDB)

One of the most significant achievements of BRICS is the establishment of the New Development Bank (NDB). During the Sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, in 2014, leaders of these nations signed the Agreement establishing the NDB, marking a milestone in international finance. The NDB’s primary focus is to finance infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging markets and developing countries. It supports a range of projects, both public and private, through loans, guarantees, equity participation, and other financial instruments. The NDB’s headquarters is situated in Shanghai, China, and it has established regional offices across BRICS member countries.

K. V. Kamath served as the first President of the NDB, appointed in 2015. He played a pivotal role in the bank’s establishment and early operations. In 2020, Marcos Prado Troyjo from Brazil succeeded K. V. Kamath, taking on the responsibility of leading the NDB.

13th BRICS Summit (2021):

India chaired the 13th BRICS Summit, which took place virtually in September 2021. The summit’s theme, ‘BRICS@15: Intra-BRICS cooperation for continuity, consolidation, and consensus,’ reflected the alliance’s commitment to strengthening cooperation in various domains. India outlined four key areas of focus during its chairmanship: multilateral system reform, counter-terrorism efforts, leveraging digital tools for sustainable development goals, and enhancing people-to-people exchanges.

Key Highlights from the 13th BRICS Summit

The summit provided a platform for leaders to discuss the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with other pressing global and regional issues. Notably, the ‘New Delhi Declaration,’ adopted at the conclusion of the summit, emphasized the need for reforms within the principal organs of the United Nations, particularly the UN Security Council. The declaration also called for an “inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue” to promote stability in Afghanistan.

14th BRICS Summit (2022):

The 14th BRICS Summit was hosted virtually by China under the theme, “Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for Global Development.” This summit reiterated the alliance’s commitment to promoting economic growth, development, and cooperation on the global stage. The Beijing Declaration, adopted during this summit, expressed support for dialogue between Russia and Ukraine, showcasing BRICS’ influence in international diplomacy.

BRICS Plus and Expanding Horizons:

BRICS has not limited its engagement to its core member nations. A significant development is the concept of “BRICS Plus,” which involves inviting other countries to participate in BRICS meetings, expanding the group’s reach and influence. Notably, in 2021, BRICS invited ministers from countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Argentina, Nigeria, Senegal, and Thailand to participate in a virtual conference alongside the main summit.

New Development Bank’s Expanding Membership:

In 2021, BRICS Development Bank welcomed new members, including Bangladesh, the UAE, Egypt, and Uruguay. This expansion further enhances the NDB’s ability to finance development projects and contribute to the economic growth of emerging markets and developing countries.

Conclusion:

BRICS has undoubtedly evolved into a powerful collective with global influence, transcending its origins as a concept for emerging economies. Through economic cooperation, political dialogue, and shared development goals, BRICS members are shaping the international order and addressing complex global challenges. The establishment of the New Development Bank exemplifies their commitment to sustainable development, and their annual summits provide a platform for diplomacy and collaboration on a wide range of issues. As BRICS continues to grow and adapt to an ever-changing world, it remains a vital player in the ongoing narrative of global governance and development.

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