Coordination between Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) began informally in 2006
with a working meeting of the foreign ministers of the four countries on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
Since then, the acronym, created a few years earlier by the financial market, no longer confined itself to identifying four emerging economies. BRIC became a mechanism for cooperation in areas that have the potential to produce concrete results for Brazilians and the peoples of the other member countries. In 2011, South Africa became part of the grouping, adding the "S" to the acronym, now BRICS.
Since 2009, the Heads of State and Government of the group have met annually, and 11 Summit meetings have taken place:
- 1st Summit: Yekaterinburg, Russia, June 2009;
- 2nd Summit: Brasilia, Brazil, April 2010;
- 3rd Summit: Sanya, China, April 2011;
- 4th Summit: New Delhi, India, March 2012;
- 5th Summit: Durban, South Africa, March 2013;
- 6th Summit: Fortaleza, Brazil, July 2014;
- 7th Summit: Ufa, Russia, July 2015;
- 8th Summit: Benaulim (Goa), India, October 2016;
- 9th Summit: Xiamen, China, September 2017;
- 10th Summit: Johannesburg, South Africa, July 2018; and
- 11th Summit: Brasilia, Brazil, November 2019
Since the first Summit in 2009, BRICS has significantly expanded its activities in several fields. But it was in the financial area that the four member countries, following the 2008 crisis, started to work in coordination with the G20, the IMF, and the World Bank, with proposals for reform of the global financial governance frameworks, in line with the increase in the relative weight of emerging countries in the world economy.
The intra-BRICS cooperation in the financial sector led to the establishment of the first two institutions of the mechanism: the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserves Arrangement (CRA). The creation of the bank was a response to the global lack of resources to finance infrastructure projects. The CRA aims to secure liquidity in order to handle balance of payment crises the grouping’s member countries may face.
In 2019, Brazil held the rotating presidency of BRICS under the motto "Economic growth for an innovative future”. Priority was given to initiatives in the areas of science, technology and innovation, digital economy, health, cooperation in the fight against transnational crime, and close relations between private sectors of the five countries and the New Development Bank. The Brazilian presidency held more than 100 meetings throughout the year, including 16 meetings at ministerial level. The Heads of State and Government of the five countries attended the Brasilia Summit, held on 13-14 November 2019.
In 2020, the Russian Federation holds the BRICS rotating presidency and will host the group’s 12th Summit in Saint Petersburg, in the last quarter.