- BRICS brings together five major emerging economies- China, Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa. It comprises 43% of the world population, having 30% of the world GDP and a 17% share in world trade.
- These 5 countries host 41% of the world population, contributing 24% of the world GDP and over 16% share in world 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 NDB created by the BRICS countries 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.
- Voting power of each member is equal to the number of its subscribed shares in capital stock.
- All members of the United Nations could be members of the bank, however the share of the BRICS nations can never be less than 55% of voting power.
- 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.
Why in News?
- Addressing a virtual meeting of the Brics foreign ministers that was chaired by his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said the group had repeatedly affirmed respect for sovereign equality, territorial integrity and international law and that it must live up to these commitments.
- The mention of sovereignty and territorial integrity is significant in the context of China, with which India is locked in a standoff in eastern Ladakh, and Russia which is accused of undermining the same in Ukraine.