From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : BRICS Plus
Mains level : Chinese push for expansion of BRICS
Chinese President Xi Jinping will host a virtual summit of the leaders of the BRICS countries. PM Modi is expected to join.
Why in news?
- China is keen for the grouping to explore expansion and include new developing country members.
- Under the “BRICS Plus” format, the forthcoming summit is also expected to be attended by leaders of invited emerging countries.
What is BRICS?
- BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
- The BRICS Leaders’ Summit has convened annually. It does not exist in form of an organization, but it is an annual summit between the supreme leaders of five nations.
- On November 30, 2001, Jim O’Neill, a British economist who was then chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, coined the term ‘BRIC’ to describe the four emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
- He made a case for BRIC on the basis of econometric analyses projecting that the four economies would individually and collectively occupy far greater economic space and become among the world’s largest economies in the next 50 years or so.
How it has formed?
- The grouping was formalized during the first meeting of BRIC Foreign Ministers on the margins of the UNGA in New York in September 2006.
- The first BRIC Summit took place in 2009 in the Russian Federation and focused on issues such as reform of the global financial architecture.
Who are the members?
- South Africa was invited to join BRIC in December 2010, after which the group adopted the acronym BRICS. South Africa subsequently attended the Third BRICS Summit in Sanya, China, in March 2011.
- The Chairmanship of the forum is rotated annually among the members, in accordance with the acronym B-R-I-C-S.
- The importance of BRICS is self-evident: It represents 42% of the world’s population, 30% of the land area, 24% of global GDP and 16% of international trade.
- The five BRICS countries are also members of G-20.
Back2Basics: BRICS Plus
- The BRICS outreach to Africa began at the last summit hosted by South Africa, in 2013. It has picked up momentum now but African leaders want more.
- They need big loans from the New Development Bank (NDB) for their infrastructure projects.
- China introduced the “BRICS Plus” format at the Xiamen summit last year by inviting a few countries from different regions.
- South Africa emulated it, arranging the attendance of top-level representation of five nations of its choice: Argentina, Jamaica, Turkey, Indonesia and Egypt.
- The precise role of “BRICS Plus” countries will take time to evolve but an immediate benefit is the immense opportunities it provides for networking among leaders.