BRICS | IAS Target IAS Target


BRICS is an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Originally, the first four were grouped as "BRIC" (or "the BRICs"), before the induction of South Africa in 2010. The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs; all are members of the G20. Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits.

Facts about BRICS

  • Forex: US$4.46 trillion
  • 3.1 billion people ( 41% of the world population)
  • Official language: English, Russian, Hindi, Chinese
  • GDP of US$18.6 trillion (nominal GDP) or 23.2% of the gross world product, GDP of US$40.55 trillion (32% of World's GDP PPP)
  • Four out of five members (excluding South Africa) are in the top 10 of the world by population.


  • BRICS doesn’t exist in form of organization, only annual summit between the supreme leaders of five nations.
  • The Chairmanship of the forum is rotated annually among the members, according to the acronym B-R-I-C-S.


  • BRICS is emerging as a new and promising political-diplomatic entity with diverse objectives, far beyond the original objective of reforming global financial institutions.
  • The BRICS seeks to broaden, deepen and intensify cooperation within the grouping and among the individual countries for more sustainable, equitable and mutually beneficial development.
  • BRICS takes into consideration each member’s growth, development and poverty objectives to ensure relations are built on the respective country’s economic strengths and to shun competition where possible.

Focus area of cooperation

  • Cooperation among member states through
  • Economic cooperation
  • Political and security engagement
  • People to people ties

Track 1 Diplomacy Government officials like heads of state, state department or ministry of foreign affairs officials, and other governmental departments and ministries are the main actors in this kind of diplomacy
Track 2 Diplomacy When the actors involved are not government officials but non-state actors like conflict resolution specialists, NGOs, citizens, business parties, media persons, etc, it is called Track 2 Diplomacy
Track 3 Diplomacy Business, or Peacemaking through Commerce. This is the field of business and its actual and potential effects on peace-building through the provision of economic opportunities, informal channels of communication, international friendship and understanding, and support for other peacemaking activities.

BRICS role in global institutional reforms

  • The BRICs called for the “the reform of multilateral institutions like IMF, WTO etc in order to reflect to reality of 21 century and developing countries specially Asia role in global governance
  • The main reason for co-operation to begin among the BRICs nation was the financial crises of 2008. The crises raised doubts over the sustainability of the dollar-dominated monetary system.
  • BRICs managed to push for institutional reform which led to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) quota reform in 2010. However, western countries still not serious and continuously delay on reforms

New Development Bank

The New Development Bank (NDB), or the BRICS Development Bank, is a multilateral development bank set-up by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). During the Sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza (2014) the leaders signed the pact establishing the New Development Bank (NDB).


  • NDB’s key areas of operation are irrigation, sustainable urban development, clean energy, transport infrastructure, and economic cooperation among the member countries.
  • The Bank shall support public or private projects through guarantees, loans, equity participation, and other financial instruments
  • The NDB shall cooperate with international organizations and other financial entities, and provide technical assistance for projects to be supported by the Bank.

The initial authorized capital of the bank is $100 billion divided into 1 million shares having a par value of $100,000 each. The initial subscribed capital of the NDB is $50 billion divided into paid-in shares ($10 billion) and callable shares ($40 billion). The initial subscribed capital of the bank was equally distributed among the founding members. The Agreement on the NDB specifies that the voting power of each member will be equal to the number of its subscribed shares in the capital stock of the bank.

Headquartered: BRICS Tower in Shanghai
The first regional office of the NDB: Johannesburg, South Africa.

The objective of CRA:

  • The reserve is to provide protection against global liquidity pressures.
  • Currency issues where members' national currencies are being badly affected by global financial pressures.

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.

Issues regarding BRICS

  • China's OBOR which is a debt trap agenda and not respect other country's self-esteem, Russia too apprehensive of China's design. So all countries must try to eliminate trust deficits
  • The marked dominance of big three Russia-China-India and other two is not so strong. BRICS must increase membership and include more countries
  • BRICS not only expand its agenda, but set the agenda and adopt leadership role. Ex: Climate change where western countries are cold shoulder on finance and technology. So BRICS must stick to Paris deal to shield environment.
  • The military standoff between India and China on the Doklam plateau, show trust deficit b/w member countries
  • BRICS committed to foundational principles like respect of equality, sovereignty, multilateralism in new Global order, but countries' strategic interest just opposite on these ideals. Ex: CPEC passes through PoK, unilateral action by china in South China sea, different view on terrorism etc.

BRICS Summit

12th Summit 2020 Russia (saint petersburg)
11th Summit 2019 Brazil (Brasilia)
10th Summit 2018 South Africa (Johansburg)
9th Summit 2017 China (Xiamen)
8th Summit 2016 India (Goa) (joint summit with BIMSTEC)
7th Summit 2015 Russia (Ufa) (joint summit SCO-EEU summit)
6th Summit 2014 Brazil (Fortaliza) (New Development bank and Contingency reserve arrangement signed)

BRICS Cooperation

  • BRICS convention on tourism
  • BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement
  • BRICS Young Scientists Conclave
  • 2016 BRICS U-17 Football Cup
  • BRICS convention on tourism
  • Jaipur Declaration ( meeting of women Parliamentarians from BRICS