Coined by Jim O’Neil in 2001, then chairman of Goldman Sachs, BRICS stands as an acronym for the nations Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which are the fastest-growing economies and are likely to dominate the world economy by 2050.

When & Why Was BRICS Established?

Though the talks of this kind of alliance have been happening since 2006, it was the 2008 financial crisis that pushed this block into existence. The 2008 financial crisis reminded the world of its dependency on the dollar and the chaos that ensues if it fails. So in 2009 Brazil, Russia, India and China got together and formed BRIC. Later in 2010, South Africa was invited into the block and BRICS came into existence.

Over the year the BRICS has taken several steps to establish a multi-polar world order and neutralise the unjust influence of the West in the modern world.

Some of the Important Decisions Taken by BRICS

  • Economic Cooperation – To achieve this the ‘New Development Bank’ is established after the 6th annual BRICS summit in Shanghai. This bank along with ‘The BRICS Business Council’ is the driving force behind several development projects in the member countries. Apart from this the BRICS members also signed a ‘Contingent Reserves Agreement’ that provides short-term liquidity support to the members in crisis.
  • Emphasises on people to people exchange, fostering cooperation in culture, sports, education, film and youth. As a result, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is getting ready to establish its first international campus in South Africa. 
  • Global Institutional Reforms – It has repeatedly pushed for major reforms in international institutions like International Monetary Fund (IMF) and United Nation’s Security Council (UNCS). IMF’s quota reform of 2020 was a stark example of this.
  • Data Sharing – In August of 2021, during the 13th BRICS summit in Delhi, the members signed an agreement for cooperation in remote sensing satellite data sharing. This will enable the members to build BRICS remote sensing satellite constellation, a cooperative space programme consisting of satellites from the member countries, used for better resource and disaster management. Six existing satellites will be part of it: Gaofen-6 and Ziyuan III 02, both developed by China; CBERS-4, jointly developed by Brazil and China; Kanopus-V, developed by Russia; and Resourcesat-2 and 2A, both developed by India.

15th Summit – BRICS 2023 


The 15th annual summit of this block occurred in Johannesburg (South Africa) from the 22nd to the 24th of August this year.


The theme for BRICS Summit 2023 was ‘BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism‘.

Key Decisions Undertaken During The Summit

During this several policy decisions were taken that will have a lasting impact on global geopolitics. 

  1. Expansion of BRICSAlong with the heads of India, China, South Africa and Brazil, representatives of more than 60 countries attended the summit. 40 countries formally applied to join the alliance among which six were granted membership – Iran, Argentina, Ethiopia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE. With these nations joining BRICS, the group’s influence in the Middle East, Africa and South America is bound to be amplified. From the 1st of January 2024, their full membership will take effect. 

The 11 member nations now represent around 45% of the planet’s population, over 40% of world oil production and roughly a third of global GDP. It is also estimated that by 2027, the BRICS’ average economic growth rate is likely to be notably above the global average. The expanded BRICS would have 72 percent of rare earth minerals (three of the five countries with the largest reserves). It would also hold 75 percent of the world’s manganese, 50 percent of the world’s graphite, 28 percent of the world’s nickel, and 10 percent of the world’s copper (excluding Iran’s reserves).

  1. Trade and EnergyThe summit this year accomplished several diplomatic feats and economic achievements.
  • Argentina’s inclusion will increase the bloc’s lithium supply, as it holds the world’s third-largest lithium reserves. In addition, investments in projects and areas by non-partner countries would will also expand.
  • Iran possesses substantial amounts of essential minerals, notably the world’s largest zinc reserves and the second-largest copper deposit, but has been unable to mobilise them due to strict economic sanctions. The inclusion in BRICS should help resolve this issue.
  • With the addition of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Iran, BRICS would contain three of the world’s top oil exporters and 42 percent of global oil production. This would include both oil and gas exporters as well as two of the world’s top importers, China and India, both of whom declined to join the G7’s “price cap coalition” targeting Russia. As a result, producers and consumers will be able to create independent mechanisms to trade commodities outside the influence of the G7 financial sector.
  1. Space and Chandrayan 3While the BRICS summit 2023 was ongoing India successfully became the first nation to land on the south pole of the moon by its mission Chandrayaan 3. This paved the way for future international space collaboration and solidified India’s proposal for the remote constellation. In his addressing speech, PM Narendra Modi called for further collaborations and proposed the establishment of the BRICS Research Exploration Consilium to advance space research, monitoring, and global cooperation in this arena.
  1. Common Currency, Health and Big Cat– The leaders agreed to explore the possibility of creating a common currency for trade and investment among the BRICS countries. India proposed collective initiative for Big Cat Conservation, an initiative for the conservation of Panthera/Big cat species. The Indian side also called for equitable access to vaccines and medical supplies for all countries and pledged to enhance their cooperation in health research and innovation.

Apart from these the summit also called for reforms in the United Nations and its security council to make it more representative and responsive to the needs of developing countries.

However, the block also comes with its own reservations.

All the members nations of BRICS have their own stages of development and own agenda of joining. Certain members have internal security issues of their own and friction with each other, especially China. The devious intensions of the country and its dream of subverting and provoking others in the neighbourhood, is a cause of major concern of the organisation. A very recent example of this is the publishing of the controversial map of China – just days after the summit, China in an attempt to provoke India, published a wrong map that claimed large parts of Indian territory. 

In spite of all these troubles though, BRICS has been working on tackling the unfair hegemony of the west over the world since post-World War II. Thus, this block today is a historic step towards multilateralism and mutual operation in an ever-changing fragile world.