As India hosts yet another BRICS summit, we need to step back and realize that this clever acronym to describe burgeoning economies needs to be re-examined. The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa)
The New Delhi event hosts Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, South African President Jacob Zuma and Chinese Premier Hu Jintao, at the fourth BRICS summit on Thursday.
The acronym was first coined by Jim O’Neill in a 2001 paper entitled “Building Better Global Economic BRICS.” Since then, the term BRICs, has come to include a large ‘S’ for South Africa. More importantly, the title has come into widespread use as a symbol of the shift in global economic power away from the developed G7 economies towards the developing world. It is estimated that BRIC economies will overtake G7 economies by 2027.
BRICS now account for $230 billion in intra-trade. And as leaders from the BRICS nation arrive in India, all eyes will be on new prospects that the body can offer. It is this fact, that should make the world realize that the proverbial “BRICS” are indeed now a wall.
One of the goals of the summit will be establishing a permanent headquarters for BRICS as well as discussing IMF reform.
The idea that these countries might be dictating global policy twenty years ago was laughable. And now, it is the reality – a reality which was spawned for different reasons in different countries. In Russia, the high price of oil will continue to make their economy grow. In China, economic reform, and wise economic policy have allowed their nation to see hundreds of millions rise out of poverty. India is continuing to ride it’s boom, which has admittedly slowed down. And South Africa is seen as the beacon of hope for much of African development.
Some speculate that the BRICS need political gravitas before they can have much sway. This is true. However, for the moment, the organization has served for a great forum of up-and-coming countries to now realize that they have indeed arrived.