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Brics: All you need to know about the global partnership and latest updates

The members countries announced the expansion of the grouping by adding six new countries - Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - into the fold

PM Narendra Modi with other BRICS leaders at the Itamaraty palace in Brasilia 	Photo: PTI

The five countries advocate for the reform of international institutions such as the United Nations

BS Web Team New Delhi

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During the ongoing Brics Summit 2023, the member countries on Thursday announced the expansion of the grouping by welcoming six new countries — Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — into the fold.

The full membership will take effect in 2024.

Announcing the decision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the addition of new members in Brics grouping will strengthen the outfit and increase confidence in the idea of a multipolar world order.

The current chair of Brics, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, presented the Johannesburg Declaration, the summit's outcome document, and indirectly referenced the Ukraine conflict, saying the grouping's members had sought a "peaceful resolution" of disputes.

What is Brics?

Brics, an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, is an association of five major emerging economies that have come together to foster international collaboration across various key sectors.

Formed in 2006, Brics plays a crucial role in impacting economics, politics, and global governance.

Originally, the Brics was identified for highlighting investment opportunities and had not been a formal intergovernmental organisation. Since 2009, they formed a more cohesive geopolitical bloc, with the governments of the five nations meeting annually at formal summits and coordinating multilateral policies.

How did Brics come into being?

The roots of Brics can be traced back to 2001 when the term "Bric" was coined by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill to highlight the economic potential of Brazil, Russia, India, and China and showcase that these four countries will collectively dominate the global economy by 2050.

South Africa joined the group in 2010, transforming it into "Brics".

The Brics have about 26.7 per cent of the world's land surface and 41.5 per cent of the global population.

The inaugural BRIC summit was held in 2009, and these nations recognised their shared interests and common challenges. This laid the foundation for regular meetings, setting the stage for deeper cooperation.

What are its major roles?

-Economic cooperation

The Brics economies represent a significant portion of the global gross domestic product (GDP) and trade. They work on enhancing economic ties through trade agreements, investment partnerships, and the promotion of intra-Brics trade.

-Political diplomacy

The grouping acts as a platform for these five nations to discuss political and strategic issues of mutual concern, including global security, regional stability, and international governance reform.

-Development and innovation

The Brics emphasises cooperation in science, technology, and innovation, facilitating joint research and knowledge-sharing.

-Global governance reform

The five countries advocate for the reform of international institutions such as the United Nations (UN), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank to represent the interests of emerging economies.

-Cultural exchange
Brics fosters cultural ties through educational exchanges, tourism, and interactions to enhance understanding and collaboration.

What is the funding structure of the grouping?

Currently, two entities make up the financial architecture of Brics, namely the New Development Bank (NDB), sometimes referred to as the BRICS Development Bank; and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA).

Both entities were signed into the treaty in 2014, and they became active in 2015.

Established in 2014, the NDB is a notable initiative that provides funding for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in Brics nations and other emerging economies. The NDB operates on a subscription-based model, with each member contributing to the bank's capital and having an equal say in its functioning.

The CRA is a framework that protects against global liquidity pressures.

Brics Summits

1. June 16, 2009 (Host country: Russia)

2. April 15, 2010 (Host country: Brazil)

3. April 14, 2011 (Host country: China)

4. March 29, 2012 (Host country: India)

5. March 26–27, 2013 (Host country: South Africa)

6. July 14–17, 2014 (Host country: Brazil)

7. July 8–9, 2015 (Host country: Russia)

8. October 15–16, 2016 (Host country: India)

9. September 3–5, 2017 (Host country: China)

10. July 25–27, 2018 (Host country: South Africa)

11. November 13–14, 2019 (Host country: Brazil)

12. November 17, 2020 (video conference); (Host country: Russia)

13. September 9, 2021 (video conference); (Host country: India)

14. June 23, 2022 (video conference); (Host country: China)

15. August 22-24, 2023 (Host country: South Africa)

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First Published: Aug 24 2023 | 7:46 PM IST

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