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BRICS Summit Wrap-Up
Cover Stories Series 2011> BRICS Summit Wrap-Up
UPDATED: April 8, 2011 NO. 15 APRIL 14, 2011
Becoming BRICS
Adding South Africa to its ranks makes BRICS even more representative of global emerging and developing economies

ECONOMIC STRENGTH: Participants pose before a meeting of BRIC finance ministers and central bank governors in London on September 4, 2009 (ZENG YI)

In 2001, Jim O'Neill, Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Manage-ment, introduced the world to the idea of BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China, countries that were attracting international attention for their amazing economic development. The four emerging economies openly embraced O'Neill's idea and began their summit meeting in 2009. Today, the concept has become a new platform for international communication and has added a new member, South Africa, to become BRICS.

The Third BRICS Summit will be held on April 14 in Sanya, China's Hainan Province. Chinese President Hu Jintao will host the summit with top leaders from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa in attendance.

A multilateral relationship

BRICS may not be a formal international organization, but an increasing number of countries have expressed their expectations for BRICS countries to assist with the recovery of the global economy. After the financial crisis in 2008, existing international economic and financial orders, controlled largely by Western countries, showed their shortcomings. Now, the international community calls for global collective financial governance.

Besides, fighting the recession in the crisis' aftermath became a task much bigger than the Group of Eight (G8) major industrialized countries could handle on their own. Developing countries, such as China and Brazil, took the lead in coping with the recession and revitalizing global economic development, showing the significant role emerging economies can and will play in the world. BRICS members also benefited from dialogue and cooperation during the recovery. Their deepening coordination and cooperation enhanced their ability to resist and recover from the financial crisis.

Foreign ministers from BRIC countries held their first meeting in Yekaterinburg, Russia in May 2008. Six months later, their finance ministers met in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In June 2009, the First BRIC Summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia. During the Second BRIC Summit in April 2010 in Brasilia, Brazil, leaders of the four countries signed a document on banking cooperation. Implementation of the milestone document marked a big step forward for BRIC countries in establishing a multilateral relationship.

BRICS' strength

BRICS countries account for 30 percent of the world's territory and 42 percent its population. In 2010, their aggregate GDP was 18 percent of the world's total, while their total trade volume accounted for 15 percent of the global trade.

Developed countries, the World Bank and the IMF need to pay more attention to BRICS because of their rapid development and growing role in the international system. The rise of BRICS proves the world's economic center is moving to the East and the South following the global financial crisis.

BRICS focuses on discussing international financial supervision and global governance reforms. The group does not intend to challenge the Western world. But it seeks to uphold emerging economies' interests and aspirations in the international economic system.

The changing terms of G7, G8, G8 Plus Five and G20, and calls for a G2 between the United State and China, reflect two clear tendencies.

The first is the political and economic influence of developing countries and emerging economies is increasing in the global community. To adapt to their growing influence, existing international political and economic orders need to be improved.

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