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BRICS: Sources of Information

This guide provides information sources for those researching the emerging national economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS).


Flags of the nations that belong to the BRICS External (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) group in a typographic illustration. Image courtesy of Pixabay External. Creative Commons Zero (CC0) External

"BRICS" is the acronym denoting the emerging national economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The term was originally coined in 2001 as "BRIC" by the Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill in his report, Building Better Global Economic BRICs (Global Economics Paper No: 66). At that time, the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China experienced significant growth, raising concerns regarding their impact on the global economy. Foreign ministers of these countries began meeting informally in 2006, which led to more formal annual summits beginning in 2009.

Generally speaking, these meetings are held to improve economic conditions within BRICS countries and give their leaders the opportunity to work in collaboration regarding these efforts. In December of 2010, South Africa joined the informal group and changed the acronym to BRICS. Together these emerging markets represent 42% of the world population and account for over 31% of the world's GDP according to the World Factbook. According to the 2023 summit chair South Africa, over 40 nations were interested in joining the economic forum for the benefits membership would provide including development finance, and increase in trade and investment.1 At the conclusion of the summit it was announced that Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates will become new members of BRICS starting in 2024.2

BRICS Summits

Following are dates and locations of the past BRIC/BRICS summits, along with links to their official websites when available, statements or declarations from each summit. Many of the linked documents are available from the University of Toronto BRICS Information Centre External that keeps close track of the BRICS activities and provides comprehensive research and analysis.

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  1. What is BRICS, which countries want to join and why? External Reuters, August 21, 2023. Back to text
  2. BRICS Is Getting 6 New Members. External By Gerald Imray and Mogomotsi Magome. The Diplomat, August 25, 2023. Back to text