By William Lee
BRICS is the acronym for an association of five newly industrialized countries with emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Originally the first four were grouped as “BRIC”, before the induction of South Africa in 2010; all five are G-20 members.
Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits.
China will host the 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen on September 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2017.
In the 10 years since its inception, BRICS cooperation has continued to consolidate its foundation and expanded to more areas such as economy, trade, finance, business, agriculture, education, health, science and technology, culture, think tanks, and friendship cities.
Cooperation mechanisms such as the New Development Bank, Contingent Reserve Arrangement, Business Council and Think Tank Council have been established and has exerted important influence globally.
Thanks to 10 years of development, BRICS has grown into an important platform for cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries. BRICS countries come from the continent of Asia, Africa, Europe and America, together, they account for:
26% of world land area,
42% of world population,
13% of World Bank voting power, and
22% of world GDP worth US$16.6trillion, and contributed more than 50% of world economic growth during the last 10 years.
The BRICS have received both praise and criticism from numerous commentators.
Bilateral relations among BRICS nations have mainly been conducted on the basis of non-interference, equality, and mutual benefit.