Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa
Named afterMember states' initials (in english)
FormationSeptember 2006 (16 years ago) (September 2006) (UNGA 61st session)
1st BRIC summit: 16 June 2009 (13 years ago) (16 June 2009)
FounderUNGA 61st session:
Brazil Celso Amorim
Russia Sergey Lavrov
India Manmohan Singh
China Li Zhaoxing
Russia Vladimir Putin
China Hu Jintao
1st BRIC summit:
Brazil Lula da Silva
Russia Dmitry Medvedev
India Manmohan Singh
China Hu Jintao
Founded atUN HQ, NYC (UNGA 61st session)
Yekaterinburg (1st BRIC summit)
TypeIntergovernmental organization
HeadquartersBRICS Tower
FieldsInternational politics
Membership (2022)
FundingMember states
Formerly called

BRICS is an acronym for five regional economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The first four were initially grouped as "BRIC" (or "the BRICs") in 2001 by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill, who coined the term to describe fast-growing economies that would collectively dominate the global economy by 2050;[1] South Africa was added in 2010.[2]

The BRICS have a combined area of 39,746,220 km2 (15,346,100 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 3.21 billion,[3] or about 26.7% of the world's land surface and 41.5% of the global population. Brazil, Russia, India, and China are among the world's ten largest countries by population, area, and GDP (PPP), and the latter three are widely considered to be current or emerging superpowers. All five states are members of the G20, with a combined nominal GDP of US$28.06 trillion (about 26.6% of the gross world product), a total GDP (PPP) of around US$56.65 trillion (32.5% of global GDP PPP), and an estimated US$4.46 trillion in combined foreign reserves (as of 2018).[4][5]

The BRICS were originally identified for the purpose of highlighting investment opportunities and had not been a formal intergovernmental organization.[6] Since 2009, they have increasingly formed into a more cohesive geopolitical bloc, with their governments meeting annually at formal summits and coordinating multilateral policies;[1] China hosted the most recent 14th BRICS summit on 24 July 2022. Bilateral relations among the BRICS are conducted mainly on the basis of non-interference, equality, and mutual benefit.[7]

The BRICS are considered the foremost geopolitical rival to the G7 bloc of leading advanced economies,[1] announcing competing initiatives such as the New Development Bank, the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, the BRICS payment system, the BRICS Joint Statistical Publication and the BRICS basket reserve currency. Since 2022, the group has sought to expand membership, with several developing countries expressing interest in joining.[8] The BRICS have received both praise and criticism from numerous commentators.[9][10][11]



The term BRIC was originally developed in the context of foreign investment strategies. It was introduced in the 2001 publication, Building Better Global Economic BRICs by then-chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Jim O'Neill;[12] the term was coined by Roopa Purushothaman, who was a Research Assistant in the original report.[13]

For investing purposes, the list of emerging economies sometimes included South Africa, which expanded the acronym to BRICS or BRICK.

The foreign ministers of the initial four BRIC General states (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) met in New York City in September 2006 at the margins of the General Debate of the UN Assembly, beginning a series of high-level meetings.[14] A full-scale diplomatic meeting was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on 16 June 2009.[15]

The BRIC grouping's 1st formal summit, also held in Yekaterinburg, commenced on 16 June 2009,[16] with Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Dmitry Medvedev, Manmohan Singh, and Hu Jintao, the respective leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, and China, all attending.[17] The summit's focus was on improving the global economic situation and reforming financial institutions, and discussed how the four countries could better co-operate in the future.[16][17] There was further discussion of ways that developing countries, such as 3/4 of the BRIC members, could become more involved in global affairs.[17]

In the aftermath of the Yekaterinburg summit, the BRIC nations announced the need for a new global reserve currency, which would have to be "diverse, stable and predictable."[18] Although the statement that was released did not directly criticize the perceived "dominance" of the US dollar – something that Russia had criticized in the past – it did spark a fall in the value of the dollar against other major currencies.[19]

Entry of South Africa

In 2010, South Africa began efforts to join the BRIC grouping, and the process for its formal admission began in August of that year.[20] South Africa officially became a member nation on 24 December 2010, after being formally invited by China to join[21] and subsequently accepted by other BRIC countries.[20] The group was renamed BRICS – with the "S" standing for South Africa – to reflect the group's expanded membership.[22] In April 2011, the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, attended the 2011 BRICS summit in Sanya, China, as a full member.[23][24][25]

Potential further expansion

Since South Africa joined the BRIC grouping (now BRICS) in 2010, numerous other countries have expressed interest in joining the bloc, including Argentina and Iran. Both signaled their intent to join BRICS during meetings with senior Chinese officials, the current BRICS chair, over the course of the summer of 2022. Beijing backed Argentina's potential accession[26] following a meeting[27] between Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the margins of the G20 Summit in Indonesia. China once again reiterated support for Argentina's potential application during a subsequent meeting between Cafiero and Yi on the margins of the 77th UN General Assembly.[26] Likewise, it is understood that Russia, India, and Brazil all support Argentina's application. Iran also submitted an application in June 2022 to Chinese authorities to join the economic association of emerging markets.[28] Relations between Iran, China and Russia have warmed in recent months as all three governments seek new allies against increasing Western opposition. There is no formal application process as such to join BRICS, but any hopeful government must receive unanimous backing from all existing BRICS members—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—to receive an invitation.

Ahead of the BRICS summit, South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said that there are 12 countries interested in joining the initiative. Of the 12, she mentioned 7 countries specifically, namely Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Algeria, Argentina, Mexico and Nigeria. Pandor also said that membership discussions will be dealt with at the upcoming summit.[29][30][31] Furthermore, Jim O'Neill said that new members should have populations of at least 100 million in order to counter the US dollar's dominance.[32]


Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and Russian president Vladimir Putin during the BRICS in Brasília, Brazil.
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and Russian president Vladimir Putin during the BRICS in Brasília, Brazil.

The BRICS Forum, an independent international organization encouraging commercial, political, and cultural cooperation among the BRICS nations, was formed in 2011.[33] In June 2012, the BRICS nations pledged $75 billion to boost the lending power of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, this loan was conditional on IMF voting reforms.[34] In late March 2013, during the fifth BRICS summit in Durban, South Africa, the member countries agreed to create a global financial institution intended to cooperate with the western-dominated IMF and World Bank.[35] After the summit, the BRICS stated that they planned to finalize the arrangements for this New Development Bank by 2014.[36] However, disputes relating to burden sharing and location slowed down the agreements.

At the BRICS leaders meeting in St Petersburg in September 2013, China committed $41 billion towards the pool; Brazil, India, and Russia $18 billion each; and South Africa $5 billion. China, That holds the world's largest foreign exchange reserves and contributes the bulk of the currency pool, wants a more significant managing role, said one BRICS official. China also wants to be the location of the reserve. "Brazil and India want the initial capital to be shared equally. We know that China wants more," said a Brazilian official. "However, we are still negotiating, there are no tensions arising yet."[37] On 11 October 2013, Russia's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that creating a $100 billion in funds designated to steady currency markets would be taken in early 2014. The Brazilian finance minister, Guido Mantega, stated that the fund would be created by March 2014.[38] However, by April 2014, the currency reserve pool and development bank had yet to be set up, and the date was rescheduled to 2015.[39] One driver for the BRICS development bank is that the existing institutions primarily benefit extra-BRICS corporations, and the political significance is notable because it allows BRICS member states "to promote their interests abroad... and can highlight the strengthening positions of countries whose opinion is frequently ignored by their developed American and European colleagues."

In March 2014, at a meeting on the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, the BRICS Foreign Ministers issued a communique that "noted with concern, the recent media statement on the forthcoming G20 Summit to be held in Brisbane in November 2014. The custodianship of the G20 belongs to all Member States equally, and no one Member State can unilaterally determine its nature and character." In light of the tensions surrounding the annexation of Ukrainian Crimea by Russia, the Ministers remarked that "The escalation of hostile language, sanctions and counter-sanctions, and force does not contribute to a sustainable and peaceful solution, according to international law, including the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter."[40] This was in response to the statement of the then Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who had said earlier that Russian President Vladimir Putin might be barred from attending the G20 Summit in Brisbane.[41]

BRICS Tower headquarters in Shanghai
BRICS Tower headquarters in Shanghai

Over the weekend of 13 July 2014, when the final game of the FIFA World Cup was held, and in advance of the BRICS Fortaleza summit, Putin met fellow leader Dilma Rousseff to discuss the BRICS development bank, and sign some other bilateral accords on air defense, gas and education. Rousseff said that the BRICS countries "are among the largest in the world and cannot content themselves in the middle of the 21st century with any kind of dependency."[42] The Fortaleza summit was followed by a BRICS meeting with the Union of South American Nations presidents in Brasilia, where the development bank and the monetary fund were introduced.[43] The development bank will have capital of US$50 billion with each country contributing US$10 billion, while the monetary fund will have US$100 billion at its disposal.[43]

On 15 July, the first day of the BRICS sixth summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, the group of emerging economies signed the long-anticipated document to create the US$100 billion New Development Bank (formerly known as the "BRICS Development Bank") and a reserve currency pool worth over another US$100 billion. Documents on cooperation between BRICS export credit agencies and an agreement of cooperation on innovation were also inked.[44]

At the end of October 2014, Brazil trimmed down its holdings of US government securities to US$261.7 billion; India, US$77.5 billion; China, US$1.25 trillion; South Africa, US$10.3 billion.[45]

In March 2015, Morgan Stanley stated that India and Indonesia had escaped from the 'fragile five' (the five major emerging markets with the most fragile currencies) by instituting economic reforms. Previously, in August 2013, Morgan Stanley rated India and Indonesia, together with Brazil, Turkey, and South Africa, as the 'fragile five' due to their vulnerable currencies. But since then, India and Indonesia have reformed their economies, completing 85% and 65% of the necessary adjustments respectively, while Brazil had only achieved 15%, Turkey only 10%, and South Africa even less.[46]

New Development Bank's logo.
New Development Bank's logo.

After the 2015 summit, the respective communications ministers, under a Russian proposal, had a first summit for their ministries in Moscow in October where the host minister, Nikolai Nikiforov, proposed an initiative to further tighten their information technology sectors and challenge the monopoly of the United States in the sector.[citation needed]

Since 2012, the BRICS group of countries have been planning an optical fibre submarine communications cable system to carry telecommunications between the BRICS countries, known as the BRICS Cable.[47] Part of the motivation for the project was the spying of the U.S. National Security Agency on all telecommunications that flowed in and out of United States territory.[48] As of 2023, construction of the proposed cable network has not started.

In August 2019, the communications ministers of the BRICS countries signed a letter of intent to cooperate in the Information and Communication Technology sector. This agreement was signed in the fifth edition of meeting of communication ministers of countries member of the group[49] held in Brasília, Brazil.

The New Development Bank, located in China, plans on giving out $15 billion to member nation to help their struggling economies. Member countries are hoping for a smooth comeback and a continuation of economic trade pre-COVID-19. The 2020 BRICS summit was held virtually in St. Petersburg, Russia and discussed how to handle the COVID-19 pandemic and how to fix the multilateral system via reforms.[50] The COVID-19 vaccine uptake rate was mixed among the BRICS community, with the populations of China, India, and South Africa most willing to take the vaccine and the populations of Brazil and Russia less willing.[51] During the 13th BRICS summit, in 2021, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a transparent investigation into the origins of COVID-19 under the World Health Organization with the full cooperation of "all countries", and Chinese leader Xi Jinping spoke directly afterwards, calling on BRICS countries to "oppose politicisation" of the process.[52]

Since 2011, the National Institutes of Statistics of the BRICS group of countries (IBGE, Rosstat, the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the Central Statistics Office (India) and Statistics South Africa) produce an annual joint statistical publication in order to put statistical production in perspective, compare adopted methodologies and statistical results. The publication serves as single data platform for the mutual benefit of participating countries.


The grouping has held annual summits since 2009, with member countries taking turns to host. Prior to South Africa's admission, two BRIC summits were held, in 2009 and 2010. The first five-member BRICS summit was held in 2011. The most recent BRICS leaders' summit took place virtually on 23 June 2022 hosted by China.[53][54] India has hosted the BRICS 2021 summit at New Delhi & amid tensions with China, Chinese leader Xi Jinping had made a soft move by supporting India's Chairmanship in 2021.[55]

Sr. No. Date(s) Host country Host leader Location Notes
1st 16 June 2009  Russia Dmitry Medvedev Yekaterinburg (Sevastianov's House) The summit was to discuss the global recession taking place at the time, future cooperation among states, and trade. Some of the specific topics discussed were food, trade, climate trade, and security for the nations. They called out for a more influential voice and representation for up-and-coming markets. Note at the time South Africa was not yet admitted to the BRICS organization at the time.[56]
2nd 15 April 2010  Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Brasília (Itamaraty Palace) Guests: Jacob Zuma (President of South Africa) and Riyad al-Maliki (Foreign Minister of the Palestinian National Authority). The second summit continued on the conversation of the global recession and how to recover. They had a conversation on the IMF, climate change, and more ways to form cooperation among states.[56]
3rd 14 April 2011  China Hu Jintao Sanya (Sheraton Sanya Resort) First summit to include South Africa alongside the original BRIC countries. The third summit had nations debating on the global and internal economies of countries.[56]
4th 29 March 2012  India Manmohan Singh New Delhi (Taj Mahal Hotel) The BRICS Cable announced an optical fibre submarine communications cable system that carries telecommunications between the BRICS countries. The fourth summit discussed how the organization could prosper from the global recession and how they could take advantage of that to help their economies. BRICS had the intention of improving their global power and providing adequate development for their state.[57]
5th 26–27 March 2013  South Africa Jacob Zuma Durban (Durban ICC) The fifth summit discusses the New Development Bank proposition and Contingent Reserve Agreement. BRICS also announced the Business Council and its Think Tank Council.[57]
6th 14–17 July 2014  Brazil Dilma Rousseff Fortaleza (Centro de Eventos do Ceará)[58] BRICS New Development Bank and BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement agreements signed.
Guest: Leaders of Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)[59][60] The members of BRICS conversed with each other about political coordination, development, and economic growth. They established the Fortaleza Declaration and Action Plan.[61]
7th 8–9 July 2015  Russia Vladimir Putin Ufa (Congress Hall)[62] Joint summit with SCO-EAEU. The seventh summit discussed global, economic problems, and better ways to foster cooperation among member states.[61]
8th 15–16 October 2016  India Narendra Modi Benaulim (Taj Exotica) Joint summit with BIMSTEC. The eighth BRICS summit debated on topics like counter-terrorism, economies, and climate change. BRICS also issued the Goa Declaration and Action Plan, hoping to harden their relationships.[63]
9th 3–5 September 2017  China Xi Jinping Xiamen (Xiamen International Conference Center) Joint summit with EMDCD. The ninth summit was an event that talked about a bright future for BRICS and what their goals intend to be. They still covered and debated international and regional issues with one another; hopeful to keep moving forward.[63]
10th 25–27 July 2018  South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa Johannesburg (Sandton Convention Centre) The tenth summit had the members discuss their rising industries. Hoping they can cut a bigger slice of the industry market.
11th 13–14 November 2019  Brazil Jair Bolsonaro Brasília (Itamaraty Palace)[55] The eleventh summit discussed advancements in the BRICS's science and innovation fields. Primarily trying to advance technology and digital currency. They made mutual agreements to help stop drug trafficking and organized crime; both internationally and internally
12th 21–23 July 2020 (postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic)[64]
17 November 2020 (video conference)[65]
 Russia Vladimir Putin Saint Petersburg[66] Joint summit with SCO. Discussing a mutual agreement on helping BRICS member countries to help foster better living standards and quality of life for each country's people. Plans on focusing on peace, economies, and cultural societal issues.[67]
13th 9 September 2021 (video conference)  India Narendra Modi New Delhi BRICS Games 2021[68]
14th 23 June 2022 (video conference)  China Xi Jinping Beijing
15th August 2023  South Africa Durban

Member countries

Country Population (in Million) (2023)[69][70] Nom. GDP bil. USD (2022 est.)[71] PPP GDP bil. ID (2023 est.)[71] Nom. GDP per capita USD (2023 est.)[71] PPP GDP per capita ID (2022 est.)[71] GDP growth
(2023 est.)
Foreign Exchange Reserves (2023)[73] HFCE (2018) Government spending Exports[74] Imports[75] Literacy rate[76] Life expectancy (years, avg.)[77] HDI (2023)[78]
 Brazil Increase 207.57 2,081 4,020 9,673 18,686 Increase1.6% $355.6 bn $1194670 bln $846.6 bn $487.05 bn $158.93 bn 94.30% 77.21 yrs 0.754 (high)
 Russia Increase 143.96 2,062 4,649 14,403 31,967 Increase0.7% $600.9 bn $856329 bln $414.0 bn $492.31 bn $231.55 bn 99.7% 72.9 yrs 0.822 (very high)
 India Increase 1425.09 3,386 11,665 2,601 8,293 Increase5.9% $633.9 bn $1729560 bln $650.0 bn $750.89 bn $598.20 bn 79.1% 71.4 yrs 0.633 (medium)
 China Increase 1415.04 18,100 30,074 13,721 21,291 Increase5.2% $3480.2 bn $5352545 bln $2,031.0 bn $3,026.0 bn $2,055.0 bn 96.4% 77.4 yrs 0.768 (high)
 South Africa Increase 57.40 435.500 990 6,485 15,556 Increase0.1% $53.8 bn $211693 bln $95.27 bn $123.73 bn $68.97 bn 94.3% 64.8 yrs 0.713 (high)
Average Increase 627.06 3,753.7 8,119.9 8,941 19,041 Increase3.5% $987.0 bn $1868956 bln $800.574 bn $970.19 bn $711.86 bn 93% 73.4 yrs 0.739 (high)
Total Increase 3245.36 26,060.50 51,171.00 - - Increase- $5124.4 bn $9344797 bln $4,036.87 bn $4,879.98 bn $3,112.65 bn - - -

Bangladesh, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay are members of BRICS New Development Bank.

Membership expansion proposals

Discussions about the expansion and entry of new member countries were little addressed until the early 2020s, after this date, leaders and top ranking diplomats of the founding nations began discussions for the expansion of the group.[79][80][81]

On 16 March 2023, Russia announced that it supported Algeria's bid to join BRICS.[82]

On 25 April 2023, it was announced that 19 countries had expressed interest in joining BRICS.[83]

Countries that have applied for membership

In addition, Afghanistan,[79] Bangladesh, Belarus, Kazakhstan,[80] Mexico, Nicaragua,[80] Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal,[80] Sudan, Syria, Thailand,[80] Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe have expressed interest in membership of BRICS.[86][87][88][89][90]

Financial architecture

The New Development Bank (NDB) is based in Shanghai.
The New Development Bank (NDB) is based in Shanghai.
The New Development Bank (NDB) and Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) were signed into treaty at the 2014 BRICS summit in Brazil.
The New Development Bank (NDB) and Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) were signed into treaty at the 2014 BRICS summit in Brazil.
Equal distribution of shares between the shareholders of the NDB.
Equal distribution of shares between the shareholders of the NDB.

Currently, there are two components that make up the financial architecture of BRICS, namely, the New Development Bank (NDB), or sometimes referred to as the BRICS Development Bank, and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA). Both of these components were signed into treaty in 2014 and became active in 2015.

New Development Bank

Further information: New Development Bank

The New Development Bank (NDB), formally referred to as the BRICS Development Bank,[91] is a multilateral development bank operated by the five BRICS states. The bank's primary focus of lending will be infrastructure projects[92][93] with authorized lending of up to $34 billion annually.[93] South Africa will be the African Headquarters of the Bank named the "New Development Bank Africa Regional Centre."[94] The bank will have starting capital of $50 billion, with wealth increased to $100 billion over time.[95] Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa will initially contribute $10 billion each to bring the total to $50 billion.[94][95] It has so far 53 projects under way worth around $15 billion.[96]

Recently Bangladesh, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay were added as new members of BRICS New Development Bank (NDB).[97]


Further information: BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement

The BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) is a framework for providing protection against global liquidity pressures.[92][95][98] This includes currency issues where members' national currencies are being adversely affected by global financial pressures.[92][98] It is found that emerging economies that experienced rapid economic liberalization went through increased economic volatility, bringing an uncertain macroeconomic environment.[99] The CRA is generally seen as a competitor to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and along with the New Development Bank is viewed as an example of increasing South-South cooperation.[92] It was established in 2015 by the BRICS countries. The legal basis is formed by the Treaty for the Establishment of a BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement, signed at Fortaleza, Brazil on 15 July 2014. With its inaugural meetings of the BRICS CRA Governing Council and Standing Committee, held on 4 September 2015, in Ankara, Turkey[100] it entered into force upon ratification by all BRICS states, announced at the 7th BRICS summit in July 2015.

BRICS payment system

At the 2015 BRICS summit in Russia, ministers from BRICS nations initiated consultations for a payment system that would be an alternative to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) system. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov stated in an interview, "The finance ministers and executives of the BRICS central banks are negotiating ... setting up payment systems and moving on to settlements in national currencies. SWIFT or not, in any case we’re talking about ... a global multilateral payment system that would provide greater independence, would create a definite guarantee for BRICS."[101]

The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) also started consultations with BRICS nations for a payment system that would be an alternative to the SWIFT system. The main benefits highlighted were backup and redundancy in case there were disruptions to the SWIFT system. The Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia, Olga Skorobogatova, stated in an interview, "The only topic that may be of interest to all of us within BRICS is to consider and talk over the possibility of setting up a system that would apply to the BRICS countries, used as a backup."[102]

China has also launched the development of their own SWIFT-alternative payment-system, the Cross-Border Inter-Bank Payments System (CIPS), which would enable financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardized, and reliable environment.[103] India also has its alternative Structured Financial Messaging System (SFMS), as do Russia (System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS) and Brazil (Pix).

Potential common currency

BRICS countries will likely discuss the feasibility of a new common currency or similar at the 2023 BRICS summit in South Africa.[104] Fair and easier international trade as well as a major reduction in costs of transactions would be some of the reasons why the countries could forge a currency union, according to Mikatekiso Kubayi, a BRICS specialist.[105] Former White House senior advisor Joseph W. Sullivan, writing for American magazine Foreign Policy, asserted that "a BRICS-issued currency would be different", as it would be comprised by challengers to the Western-led international that "in the order the scale of GDP, now collectively outweigh not only the reigning hegemon, the United States, but the entire G-7 weight class put together."[106] Sullivan maintains that the BRICS would also be poised to achieve a level of self-sufficiency in international trade that has eluded other currency unions, such as the Eurozone, because of the geographic diversity of its members, which enables a broader range of goods and services. [107]


The five leaders of BRICS in Brasília, Brazil, in 2019.
The five leaders of BRICS in Brasília, Brazil, in 2019.
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro welcoming the BRICS leaders.
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro welcoming the BRICS leaders.

In 2012, Hu Jintao, the then General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and President of China, described the BRICS countries as defenders and promoters of developing countries and a force for world peace.[9] Western analysts have highlighted potential divisions and weaknesses in the grouping, including significant economic instabilities,[108][109][110][111] disagreements among the members over the UN Security Council reform,[112] and India and China's disputes[113] over territorial issues.[10]

On 9 April 2013, Isobel Coleman from the Council on Foreign Relations, director of CFR's Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Program said that members of BRICS share a lack of consensus. They uphold drastically different political systems, from a vibrant democracy in Brazil to entrenched oligarchy in Russia, and their economies are little integrated and are different in size by orders of magnitude. Also, she states that the significant difference in GDP influences the reserves. China taking up over 41% of the contribution, which in turn leads to bigger political say within the association.[114]

Vijay Prashad, author and the Edward Said Chair at the American University of Beirut, 2014 raised the BRICS limitations as a political and economic "locomotive of the South" because they follow neoliberal policies. They have established neither new counter-balancing institutions nor come up with an alternative ideology. Furthermore, the BRICS project, argues Prashad, has no ability to challenge the primacy of the United States and NATO.[115]

BRICS Pro Tempore Presidency

The group at each summit elects one of the heads of state of the component countries to serve as President Pro Tempore of the BRICS. In 2019, the pro tempore presidency was held by the president of Brazil.[116]

The theme of the 11th BRICS summit was "BRICS: economic growth for an innovative future", and the priorities of the Brazilian Pro Tempore Presidency for 2019 are the following – Strengthening of the cooperation in Science, technology and innovation; Enhancement of the cooperation on digital economy; Invigoration of the cooperation on the fight against transnational crime, especially against organized crime, money laundering and drug trafficking; Encouragement to the rapprochement between the New Development Bank (NDB) and the BRICS Business Council.[117] Currently the new President Pro Tempore is Russia and their goals are: investing into BRICS countries in order to strengthen everyone's economies, cooperating in the energy and environmental industries, helping with young children and coming up with resolutions on migration and peacekeeping.[118]

Current leaders

Member Image Name Position(s)
Foto oficial de Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (rosto).jpg
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva President of Brazil
Xi Jinping 2019.jpg
Xi Jinping President of China
Official Photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Portrait.png
Narendra Modi Prime Minister of India
Владимир Путин (13-11-2021) (cropped).jpg
Vladimir Putin President of Russia
 South Africa
Cyril Ramaphosa - President of South Africa - 2018 (cropped).jpg
Cyril Ramaphosa President of South Africa

Current ministerial leaders

Member Foreign minister Name Finance minister Name Central bank governor
 Brazil Minister of Foreign Affairs Mauro Vieira Minister of Finance Fernando Haddad Roberto Campos Neto
 China Minister of Foreign Affairs Qin Gang Minister of Finance Liu Kun Yi Gang
 India Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman Shaktikanta Das
 Russia Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov Elvira Nabiullina
 South Africa Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana Lesetja Kganyago

See also


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