ORIGIN AND EVOLUTION OF BRICS [BRAZIL, RUSSIA, INDIA, CHINA AND SOUTH AFRICA]
The BRIC [Brazil, Russia, India and China] idea was first conceived in 2001 by Goldman Sachs as part of an economic modeling exercise to forecast global economic trends over the next half century; the acronym BRIC was first used in 2001 by Goldman Sachs in their Global Economics Paper No. 66, “The World Needs Better Economic BRICs”.
EXPANSION OF BRIC INTO BRICS
BRIC Foreign Ministers at their meeting in New York on 21st September 2010 agreed that South Africa may be invited to join BRIC. Accordingly, South Africa was invite to attend the 3rd BRICS Summit in Sanya on 14 April 2011.
Four Summits have been held so far; the first in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on June 16, 2009; second in Brasilia on 15 April 2010, the third in Sanya, China on 14 April 2011 and the fourth in New Delhi, India on 29 March 2012. BRICS Leaders have also met on the sidelines of other multilateral meetings.
OTHER BRICS MEETINGS / FORUMS
Foreign Ministers of BRICS have been meeting regularly in New York on the sidelines of UNGA since their first meeting in September 2006. The last meeting was hosted by India in New York on 23 September 2011.
A standalone meeting of BRIC Foreign Ministers was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia on 16 May 2008. A Joint Communiqué was issued at the Meeting.
The first meeting of BRICS Economic/Finance Ministers was held in November 2008 in Sao Paolo, Brazil for consultations in the wake of the global economic and financial crisis. BRICS Economic/Finance Ministers have been meeting regularly on the sidelines of G20 meetings and IMF/WB annual meetings; the last meeting was hosted by India on 22 September 2011 on the sidelines of G20 meetings and IMF / WB annual meetings in Washington DC.
HIGH REPRESENTATIVES ON SECURITY (NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISERS)
Russia hosted a formal meeting of BRIC National Security Advisers (NSAs) in May 2009 to discuss the security implications of the global financial and economic crisis. The second meeting of BRIC NSAs was held in Brasilia in April 2010 followed by the 3rd in Sochi, Russia in October 2010.
Two meetings of BRICS Agriculture Ministers have taken place; the first in Moscow on 26 March 2010 and the second in Chengdu, China on 28 October – 1 November 2011. A Joint Declaration was issued at the meeting in China and Action Plan for 2012-2016 for Agricultural Cooperation among BRICS countries outlining priority areas was adopted. A Working Group on Agriculture has also been set up to deepen cooperation in Agriculture.
BRICS Trade Ministers met in in Rio in April 2010 in the run-up to the 2nd BRIC Summit and in Sanya, China on 13 April 2011 on the sidelines of the 3rd Summit. Trade Ministers also met on the sidelines of the 8th WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva in December 2011. A Meeting of Trade Ministers also took place on 28 March 2012, a day prior to the 4th Summit.
BRICS HEALTH MINISTERS
A meeting of BRICS Health Ministers was held in July 2011 in Beijing to explore areas of cooperation in the health sector.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY SENIOR OFFICIALS
The first meeting of Science & Technology Senior Officials was held on 14-16 September 2011 in Dalian, China.
BRICS COMPETITION CONFERENCES
The first meeting of BRIC Competition Authorities was held in Kazan, Russia on 1 September 2009. The 2nd meeting was hosted by China in Beijing on 20-22 September 2011.
Two BRICS Business Forum meetings have taken place; the last in Sanya on the sidelines of the 3rd Summit in April 2011. An MoU identifying Focal Points in BRICS countries for coordinating business activities was signed. Third BRICS Business forum was jointly organized by FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM on 28 March 2012 in New Delhi.
BRICS DEVELOPMENT BANKS
The first meeting of Development Banks was hosted by Brazil in April 2010. An MoU laying the foundation of BRICS Inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism was signed at the Meeting. Following up on the MoU, BRICS Development Banks signed a “Framework Agreement on Financial Cooperation within the BRICS Inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism” at the Sanya Summit. Under the aforementioned Framework Agreement, two agreements were signed by the Development Banks from BRICS during the fourth BRICS Summit- “Master Agreement on Extending Credit Facility in Local Currencies” and “BRICS Multilateral Letter of Credit Confirmation Facility Agreement. The agreement was signed by EXIM Bank from India.
BRICS National Statistical authorities have also had three meetings. The last meeting was held in Beijing in March 2011. BRICS National Statistical Authorities have also brought out a BRICS Statistical Publication; it was first issued at the 2nd Summit in Brasilia in April 2010 and its revised edition after South Africa’s joining of BRICS, was issued at the 3rd Summit in Sanya. A Technical Meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation of India in New Delhi on 6-8 February 2012 to revise the Publication. The updated edition of BRICS Statistical Publication was issued at the Fourth Summit.
BRICS JOINT STUDY
Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance of India has coordinated a Joint BRICS Study on the state of world economy during the next two years and the role of BRICS countries. During the Fourth Summit in New Delhi, the Leaders released “The BRICS Report” focusing on synergies and complementarities between the BRICS economies and highlighting their role as growth drivers of the world economy.
India hosted the first BRIC Academic Forum in May 2009 as preparatory event to feed into the first BRICS Summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia in June 2009. Brazil hosted the second Academic Forum before the second Summit on 14-15 April, 2010. China hosted the third meeting in Beijing in March 2011. The Fourth BRICS Academic Forum took place in New Delhi on 4-6 March 2012 and came up with many useful recommendations. An MoU was also signed between the coordinating research institutions from BRICS countries during the event.
BRICS FRIENDSHIP CITIES
The first meeting of Mayors of BRICS cities and BRICS Friendship Cities was held in Sanya, China on 1-3 December 2011.
ISSUES ON BRICS AGENDA
The agenda of BRICS meetings has considerably widened over the years to encompass topical global issues such as political developments of relevance like situation in Middle East and North Africa region, Afghanistan, Iran and Syria, institutions of global governance such as UN, IMF, World Bank Group, international terrorism, climate change, food and energy security, MDGs, international economic and financial situation, etc.