BRICS is an acronym for an association of five major emerging economies; Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and the term was first coined by O'Neill, the former chief economist for Goldman Sachs. Earlier it was known as BRIC before the inclusion of South Africa in 2010 at BRIC Foreign Ministers' meeting in New York. It was started essentially with economic issues of mutual interest, however, its agenda of BRICS meetings has considerably widened over the years to encompass topical global issues. The main areas of dialogue between the member countries include - Finance & Central Bank, Trade, Business Forum & Council, Financial Forum, Academic & Think Tanks Council, Health, Science & Technology, Security, Agriculture and Statistics. BRICS member together represent a significant share of the world's production and population and its share of the global Economy in terms of GDP grew from 11% in 1990 to 25% in 2011 and it is predicted that the BRICS will overtake US in terms of GDP this year and the G7 by 2030. Since its first summit, BRICS countries have registered growth in terms of GDP in recent years and today they have 40 per cent of the world's population and 20 per cent of its GDP and their combined GDP grew more than 300 percent.
Failures of BRICS: However, in recent times BRICS are facing problems in terms of slowing economic growth and recession in some of its member countries. Following are the major cause:
India since the inception of BRICS has played an important and active role. It attaches high importance to the BRICS forum for promoting global economic growth, peace and stability. Co-operation on the economic front is one of the focus areas of India's policy towards BRIC. India sees BRICS as a platform to build multilateral relations with Latin American, African and Asian countries. India has over the years, developed closed strategic relationship with the other member countries. India has also tried to use BRIC as a forum to resolve the age-old mistrust and complicated relationship with China. India has also played an important role in the setting up of New Development Bank. Also for India, co-operation with the BRICs is very important in terms of addressing its food and energy security issues, and combating terrorism.
Since the Federal Reserve signaled the recovery of American economy from the financial crisis and recession and raised its interest rates, the BRICS have been on a steady decline. Investors pulled out from BRICS countries as US securities are more lucrative to them, which threatened the BRICS' economic growth. With most of its member countries registering slowing of their economies, India has emerged as the only bright light in the BRICS thanks to its recent policy reforms. Despite global economic slowdown, Indian rupee has become the best performing currency among BRICS countries.
It is no doubt that BRICS plays an important forum for all the member countries in promoting South-South cooperation and North-South dialogue. It will also help its member countries in fulfilling UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).In recent years, BRICs have come together in a political grouping in a way that has far exceeded most expectations.
- SHREYA ANURAKTI