BRICS brings together five major emerging economies, comprising 43% of the world population, having 37% of the world GDP and 17% share in the world trade.
The acronym BRIC was first used in 2001 by Goldman Sachs in their Global Economics Paper, "The World Needs Better Economic BRICs" on the basis of econometric analyses projecting that the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China would individually and collectively occupy far greater economic space and would be amongst the world’s largest economies in the next 50 years or so.
As a formal grouping, BRIC started after the meeting of the Leaders of Russia, India and China in St. Petersburg on the margins of G8 Outreach Summit in 2006. The grouping was formalized during the 1st meeting of BRIC Foreign Ministers on the margins of UNGA in New York in 2006. The 1st BRIC Summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on 16 June 2009.
It was agreed to expand BRIC into BRICS with the inclusion of South Africa at the BRIC Foreign Ministers’ meeting in New York in September 2010. Accordingly, South Africa attended the 3rd BRICS Summit in Sanya, China on 14 April 2011.
Seven BRICS Summits have taken place so far. The 8th BRICS Summit will be hosted by India during its Chairmanship in 2016. The earlier Summits were held as under :
Starting essentially with economic issues of mutual interest, the agenda of BRICS meetings has considerably widened over the years to encompass topical global issues. BRICS cooperation has two pillars – consultation on issues of mutual interest through meetings of Leaders as well as of Ministers of Finance, Trade, Health, S&T, Education, Agriculture, Communication, Labour, etc. and practical cooperation in a number of areas through meetings of Working Groups/Senior Officials. Regular annual Summits as well as meetings of Leaders on the margins of G20 Summits are held.