About the BRICS

At the end of 2001, a Goldman Sachs study caused great impact by saying that Brazil, China, India and Russia – a group then called BRIC – could be among the world’s most important economies by 2050. Just two years later, a new study would claim that in 40 years, all four economies could outpace the G6 economy. Since then, the ongoing has seemed to confirm, if not exceed, the forecasts for 2001.

On June 16, 2009, the leaders of the BRIC countries held their first meeting in Yekaterinburg, Russia. At the end of the meeting, they issued a declaration calling for the establishment of a multipolar world order and for the reform of the global financial system. Since then, the group has taken steps to increase its political cooperation by holding annual summits, as well as many meetings at the subnational level, such as meetings between development banks, statistical institutes and ministries of health.

During the second summit, held in Brasilia from 15 to 16 April 2010, the group suggested a new voting system at the World Bank, as well as a reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a series of cooperation agreements in order to facilitate the financing of projects among members. The development banks of each of the BRIC countries committed themselves to collaborate in the creation of new ways to encourage the granting of credit among them. In 2011, with the admission of South Africa as a full member, the group was renamed BRICS.

At the third summit in Sanya, China, on April 14, 2011, the group resumed discussions on the reform of the international monetary system, assuring the common interest in making the G20 the main management mechanism of the world economy. The leaders of the five countries also discussed economic, financial and trade issues, development strategies, the international situation, climate change and technical cooperation in areas such as energy, agriculture and statistics. The BRICS also issued a document criticizing the military operations launched in Libya, defending the aim for dialogue to resolve impasses and controversies.

Although the five countries have considerable similarities, such as a large territorial extension, an expressive population and a recent history of sometimes dramatic socioeconomic transformations, there are, on the other hand, enormous differences among them, such as: the stage of technological development; the share, whether by volume or type of product, in international trade; how they deal with their vast biodiversity; the questions around democracy and military power.

These differences suggest that it is necessary, in order to make jointed action possible, to deepen the knowledge and analysis about the BRICS and identify possible alternatives for development, as well as to find areas of common interest that can be enhanced through the coordination of their actions.

The need to develop research and analysis that contribute to understanding the scope and relevance of BRICS countries in world politics encouraged the creation of the BRICS Policy Center, a space not only for the development of knowledge, but also for the formation of institutional networks for research and development of common work schedules.



Social Innovation and Higher Education in the BRICS (2): a...

This working paper aims to provide evidence on the ways in which social innovation labs in HEIs in the BRICS countries may operate within a complex, multiscalar governance mode, which...

Social Innovation and Higher Education in the BRICS (1): a...

This research aims to contribute to both the advancement of the scholarly debate on the engagement of HEIs in social innovation initiatives, and the promotion of more inclusive and sustainable...

New Development Bank (NDB)

The bank aims at mobilizing investments towards infrastructure projects and sustainable development in the BRICS and other developing countries.

The BRICS and the New Development Bank

This Policy Brief discusses the process of the creation of the NBD, its significance for financing development, and finally its effects.

Social Innovation as a tool for Enhancing Women’s Resilience to...

INDCs of BRICS countries to the COP21

By the end of October 2015, 128 countries had submitted their contributions, representing more than 85% of global emissions.

The BRICS on the road to COP 21

This Policy Brief analyses the process that leads the BRICS to COP 21 in Paris.

Right to the city for a safe and just world:...

It sought to present a possible way for a new model of prosperity, able to provide development fairly and securely through the reduction of inequalities and respect for planetary boundaries.

The BRICS Development Bank: A New Tool for South-South Cooperation?

The Policy Brief presnets the current structure for development financing, pointing to the potential influence of the New Development Bank (NBD) on the BRICS South-South cooperation relations.

BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialization

The Forum was jointly organised by the Department of Higher Education and Training, and Higher Education South Africa, with the support of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

BRICS and the challenges in fighting inequality

this document contains four analyses of key issues for the understanding of BRICS and its world, and the possibilities of changes brought to the fore by the joint action of...

City Changer Labs a thought provoking example for the BRICS

Interestingly, the BRICS Policy Center define BRICS-cities through a specific category that does not fit a particular definition of mega cities or global cities, such combination grants these cities special...

BRICS, Development Cooperation and the Busan Forum

This Policy Brief addresses the outcomes of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4), held from November 29 to December 1 in Busan, South Korea.

Prospects for Health Cooperation from Sanya in the BRICS

The BRICS are a group whose great convergence is the desire for reform of the International System, aiming at the practical manifestation of the changes in power relations triggered by...

Megacities in the perspective of the global capitalism: the new...

The present work is part of the construction of a hypothesis of research on the big cities that is based on the notion of semiperiphery.


Luis Manuel Rebelo Fernandes

Innovation and Governance Program Coordinator / Researcher

Maria Elena Rodriguez

LACID Coordinator / Researcher

Paulo Esteves

Director / Researcher

Sérgio Veloso dos Santos Júnior

BRICS-Urbe Coordinator / Researcher