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BRICS refers to an acronym, standing for the five countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which are seen as the major emerging economies of the world. Earlier, the association was called BRIC, until South Africa joined as the fifth nation on December 24, 2010. As of 2013, the BRICS countries together constitute 40% of the world’s population with about 3 billion inhabitants. Also they are together responsible for about 18% of the world’s gross domestic product with a GDP of USD 14.8 trillion in 2012.
Many view BRICS as the economies of the future, speculating them to overtake the current major economies by 2050. But simultaneously, the nations are also experiencing problems like recently drooping economic growth, territorial disputes (between India and China), etc.
The most prominent manifestation of the BRICS policies and decisions is noticed at the BRICS summits. Having started with a summit at Yekaterinburg, Russia in 2009, there have been totally five — two BRIC and three BRICS summits till date. The fifth summit has been hosted vey recently by the South African president Jacob Zuma on 27 March 2013 in Durban.
Salient points of the Fifth BRICS summit:
Theme: “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation”
Settlement on founding of a New Development Bank
Convergence on the contingent reserve arrangement (CRA) with a preliminary size of US$100 billion
Establishment of the BRICS Think Tanks Council and the BRICS Business Council