Backgrounder: BRICS summit

Updated: 2014-07-15 20:01


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FORTALEZA - The sixth BRICS summit will kick off Tuesday in Brazil's northeastern city of Fortaleza.

The two-day summit, held under the banner "BRICS: Inclusive Growth, Sustainable Solutions," is set to define key aspects of the new BRICS Development Bank.

One of the goals of the development bank is to finance infrastructure and sustainable projects.

During the meeting, participants will also discuss the creation of the General Reserve Fund (CRA) to help the bloc's members in case of balance of payment difficulties.

BRICS is expected to seek to unlock potential for cooperation among its member countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and between BRICS members and Africa.

The upcoming summit will be attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Vladimir Putin, South African President Jacob Zuma and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Coined by former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O'Neill in 2001 in a paper entitled "Building Better Global Economic BRICs," BRIC used to be a grouping acronym that refers to Brazil, Russia, India and China. In 2010, South Africa was officially admitted as a BRIC member.

Once a loose political grouping, the BRICS bloc of nations is now an economic and robust locomotive which represents about 40 percent of the world's population, nearly a fifth of global gross domestic product, an estimated 4.4 trillion U.S. dollars worth of combined foreign reserves, and 17 percent of world trade.

On June 16, 2009, leaders from Brazil, Russia, India and China held the first formal meeting in Yekaterinburg, Russia, during which they founded their cooperative mechanism known as BRIC.

The second summit of BRIC countries was held in Brasilia, Brazil on April 15, 2010.

On April 14, 2011, the third BRICS summit was held in China's southern city of Sanya, with South Africa participating as an official member for the first time.

The fourth BRICS summit was held in New Delhi, India on March 29, 2012 under the theme "BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Security and Prosperity."

On March 26, 2013, the fifth BRICS summit was held in South Africa's coastal city of Durban, the first time the summit was held on the African continent.