BRICS – Composition, Structure, Mandate, Recent Summits, Financial Structure

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BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. South Africa entered in 2010.

Some Data

  • Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits.
  • As of 2015, the five BRICS countries represent over 3.6 billion people, or about 41% of the world population; all five members are in the top 25 of the world by population, and four are in the top 10. The five nations have a combined nominal GDP of US$16.6 trillion, equivalent to approximately 22% of the gross world product, combined GDP (PPP) of around US$37 trillion and an estimated US$4 trillion in combined foreign reserves.


  • Bilateral relations among BRICS nations have mainly been conducted on the basis of non-interference, equality, and mutual benefit.
  • The BRICS Forum, an independent international organisation encourages commercial, political and cultural cooperation between the BRICS nations.

Recent Summits

  • 2014 : Fortaleza, Brazil | Fortaleza Declaration
  • 2015 : Ufa, Russia | Ufa Declaration + SCO, EEU Joint Meeting
  • 2016 : Goa, India | Goa Declaration + BIMSTEC Joint Meeting
  • 2017 : Xiamen, China | Xiamen Declaration

Financial Structure

  • Currently, there are two components that make up the financial architecture of BRICS, namely, the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA). Both of these components were signed into treaty in 2014 and became active in 2015.

New Development Bank

  • The New Development Bank (NDB), formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank, is a multilateral development bank operated by the BRICS states. The bank’s primary focus of lending will be infrastructure projects.
  • Headquarters : Shanghai, China

Contingent Reserve Arrangement

  • The BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) is a framework for providing protection against global liquidity pressures.
  • This includes currency issues where members’ national currencies are being adversely affected by global financial pressures.
  • The CRA is generally seen as a competitor to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)  and along with the New Development Bank is viewed as an example of increasing  South-South cooperation.

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