BRICS Leaders Gather in India for Annual Summit

Posted March 28th, 2012 at 4:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Leaders from the world's five largest emerging economies — grouped in the so-called BRICS — are gathering in the Indian capital, New Delhi, for the 4th annual summit Thursday that is expected to cover topics ranging from global security to increased financial cooperation.

Although the BRICS members, consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, are very different, they share some common development goals.

An Indian Foreign Ministry official said one of those common interests is economic cooperation.

“Intra-BRICS trade is growing at an average rate of 28 percent annually and currently stands at about $230 billion, and there is a strong growing middle class with rising levels of income. The BRICS countries, therefore, today present an opportunity as new growth poles in a multi-polar world.”

The BRICS countries represent 40 percent of the world's population. They share not only their emerging economic strength, but also vulnerability.

The BRICS Research Group's official based in Toronto says BRICS members are of global importance and they know it. He said a key item on the agenda will be the creation of a BRICS development bank, that would provide mutual credit and investment opportunities for member nations without having to depend on Western institutions.

An editorial in the International Herald Tribune newspaper earlier this week derided the diverse group of nations as “an artificial bloc built on a catchphrase.” The term “BRIC,” referring to Brazil, Russia, India and China, was coined by the investment bank Goldman Sachs in a 2001 research report. The four BRIC countries later formed a political organization which expanded in 2010 to include South Africa, and changed the name to BRICS.