In 2001, in one of his seminal works, economist Jim O’Neill, termed the acronym BRIC for the national economies represented by the countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. In 2010, South Africa joined the group, and then a capital “S” was added, making it BRICS. The first four countries in the group have a combined population of over 2.8 billion, representing 40 percent of the population of the world, and a global gross domestic product (GDP) of 25 percent, approximately 16.039 trillion dollars.
In 2009, in Yekaterinburg, Russia, the original group, BRIC, held its first summit meeting with each of the country’s leaders present. The focus was on strategies to become more involved in, and improve, the global economic system and reform financial institutions. After this summit, the countries made an announcement that there should be a new reserve currency globally that was diversified and stable. Although they were not criticizing the United States’ currency dominance, the announcement resulted in a decline of the dollar’s value. In 2014, during the summit in Brazil, the group signed papers to establish a multinational BRICS Development Bank, headquartered in South Africa, with reserve currency of over 100 billion dollars and cooperative agreements with export credit agencies. The reason for establishing this Bank was to provide an alternate banking option to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, which are dominated by the United States. The BRICS’ primary focus for the bank is on providing finance and loans for infrastructure projects. Because these countries have a large number of low-income people, they are concerned with funding anti-poverty programs.
The influence of BRICS, representing over 3 billion people, is significant; policies and changes they implement impact regional and global economies. The fast-growing economies of Brazil, China, and India and Brazil are responsible for the expansion and development of investments in scientific research and publications in such areas as green transportation and clean energy resources. As a result, since, 2002, science research and development spending has increased over one trillion dollars globally. These three countries spent 17-24 percent of the total amount collectively.
Predictions are, by 2050, China will be the number one, largest economy in the world; it contributes over 15 percent of the economic growth worldwide. India will be the second largest, Brazil will be the fifth, and Russia will be the sixth.
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