BRICS-an emerging economic block


BRICS is an acronym of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. BRICS predecessor, BRIC was created with the aim to promote peace, security, developments, and cooperation between the member countries. Initially, it was just an idea that was shared by distinctly four rising economiesof the distant continents led by China due to its lowest cost manufacturing atan enormous scaleby sourcing commoditiesfrom around the worldand converting them intothe finished goods forthe needs of the global consumers. The initial four founding members were Brazil, Russia, India and China and the term BRIC was coined by Jim O’Neal,the renowned economist fromGodman Sachs.
The initial four founding members of the BRIC grouphad their first summit in 2009. In 2010, South Africa joined the group and the new acronym, BRICS, was created by adding “s” at its end. Since then, the summit is held every year and is rotated to its member countries. The very first summit was held in Russia in 2009, followed by Brazil in 2010, then China hosted the summit in 2011, followed by India in 2012 and the fifth summit in 2013 was held in South Africa, thus completing its first roster.
Just a couple of weeks ago (June 23-24) the group concluded its 14th annual summit and it was presided over by President Xi. Like the previous two summits, this summit was also held virtually, mainly due to continued concerns for the COVID spread and to follow the WHO and the national & local health advisories. At the end of the summit, a 75 points joint declaration was unanimously endorsed by its members stating solidarity, cooperation, support, inclusivity, diversity, mutual respect, multilateralism, food & energy security, economic recovery, eradicating poverty & hunger, climate change, and making BRICS center for sustainable global development. etc. The next (15th) summit in 2023 will be held in South Africa.
Since BRICS creation, many more countries have expressed to join the group. In 2015, Argentina expressed to join the group, followed by Turkey in 2018. Recently, Iran and Argentina, both have applied for the group’s membership. According to the media, due to ever increasing interests by other sovereign nations who have been left out by the G20, BRICS founding members are ready to open BRICS’ door to enlarge its membership and it will be called, BRICS+, just like the OPEC+! According to the BRICS, many nations of the emerging markets and developing nations are ready to apply to join the group, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Thailand, Nigeria, Senegal, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, etc. This means that now the developing economies and low-income countries will have choice to join the group that matches closely with their values and interests.
To support the economies and public and private projects, BRICS has created its own financial institution, calledthe New Development Bank (NDB). Just like the World Bank (WB), it is a multilateral financial institution, currently with $100 billion capital. Since its formation on July 15, 2014, it has already funded many projects across the global landscape. Last fall, the NDB admitted United Arab Emirates (UAE), Uruguay and Bangladesh as its first batch of new members as part of its drive to expand its membership to likemindedsovereign nations of the developing economies. Now, the developing countries have a new platform and an additional choice to decide whose offer to take for the development of their future and the conditions that align with their national short term and longer-terminterests and goals.
BRICS represent about $27.5 trillion world’s GDP, 40% of the global population and 26% of the global economy.
In the late 20the century (1973) the G7 (Group of Seven) was formed initially as a gathering of the finance ministers of its member countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, USA). However, since then it has transformed into an inter-governmental political forum. By extending its membership to Russia in 1997, it was called G8 but after Russian annexation of Crimea (Ukraine) in 2014, Russia was expelled from the group and was revertedto its original G7. According to the IMF and other agencies 2020 data, the G7 accounts for about 46% of the global GDP, representing about 770 million (~10%) of the world’s population. Incidentally, the G7 also finished (26-27) their yearly summit (in person) just a couple of weeks ago in Germany.
The G7, G20 and other groups and institutions should not think BRICS+ creation just to compete against them or to undermine their presence. But, as is stated in its charter, its main purpose was to create a new source of fundings for the public and private projects for the developing andlow-income economies that were left behind by the advancedeconomies and their donor agencies. Global challengescannot be solved just by the west alone, or a small group of nations or for that matter by any single bilateral/multilateral agency or organization! It is the moral duty of all the nations of the planet, particularly the member nations of the Unites Nations (UN) to collectively handle the global issues, like absolute poverty, famine, drought, climate change, healthcare, vaccination, endemics, pandemics, etc.
To date, BRICShas proven to be anew source of fundings by its five founding members for the creation of sustainable developmentsfor reducing absolute poverty, assisting in controlling the global warming,building infrastructure for vaccines’development, distribution, storage&training of the health personnelfor the future pandemics. But most importantly, assisting the low income and the sub-Saharan nations for developingtheir own means for improving their economiesto fight hunger, droughts, water supply, housing, food supply, climate change and the healthcare. If these nations continued to be neglected, they will become future sources of endemic & pandemicoutbreaks more frequently. If this will happen, itcould lead to endangering the steady digital transformationand continued progress of the advanced economies,as we have witnessed during the recent Ebola and the COVID outbreaks.Thus, this is the duty of the advanced economies to teach the less fortunate nations “how to fish” so they can break the vicious cyclesof hunger, starvation and absolute poverty, for good!