- BRICS brings together five major emerging economies- China, Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa. These 5 countries represent 41 per cent of the global population, 24 per cent of the global GDP and 16 per cent of the global trade.
- The grouping was formalised during the first meeting of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) Foreign Ministers on the margins of the UNGA in New York in September 2006.
- South Africa was added to the grouping in 2011 creating “BRICS”.
- BRICS cooperation is aimed at complementing and strengthening existing bilateral and multilateral relations among member countries.
- The Chairship of the forum is rotated annually among the members, in accordance with the acronym B-R-I-C-S.
- Cooperation among members is predicated on three levels or “tracks” of interaction, namely:
- Track I: Formal diplomatic engagement between the national governments
- Track II: Engagement through government-affiliated institutions, e.g. state-owned enterprises and business councils
- Track III: Civil society and “people-to-people” engagement.
Significant developments of BRICS
New Development Bank
- The New Development Bank (NDB) was established by the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries. It formally came into existence at the Ufa Summit (Russia) in 2015.
- It was established with the objective of financing infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, complementing the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions toward global growth and development.
- In 2018, the NDB received observer status in the UN General Assembly.
- The BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) is a framework for the provision of support through liquidity and precautionary instruments in response to actual or potential short-term balance of payments pressures.
Agriculture Research Platform
- BRICS Agriculture Research Platform was recently set up in India to promote cooperation in the areas of agricultural research, extension, technology transfer, training and capacity building.
- The intention is to make the BRICS Agriculture Research Platform functional and encourage research cooperation to improve the use and application of agricultural technologies for meeting the needs of producers and processors.
Why in News?
- The foreign ministers of the BRICS countries have encouraged the use of local currencies in international trade, saying that the world economy has been complicated by sanctions and boycotts.
- Ministers underscored the importance of encouraging the use of local currencies in international trade and financial transactions between BRICS as well as their trading partners.