It was a year ago that BRIC turned to BRICS as South Africa joined Brazil, Russia, India and China in a forum of countries seen to be leading the world’s new economy.
But why these specific countries? Well, unlike the “G7 countries”, which have extremely developed industrialized economies, the BRICS countries are at an advanced economic development stage (so-called “emerging markets”).
BRICS collectively represent one-fifth of the global gross domestic product. And this is what makes their annual gathering so important. In 2012, emerging markets’ collective GDP increased by 7.4% -- if you can image, that amounted to US$29-trillion. By comparison, it was only just lower than total G7 output of US$33-trillion.
BRICS have managed this mostly through being a lot more innovative and active in how they trade, especially between themselves. They have been less reliant on trade with other markets, such as those in Europe.
This is just one of the factors that make this week’s BRICS gathering in Durban, South Africa, so important. It will bring together not only heads of state of these nations but also leading corporates. It makes BRICS more of a “commercial collective” that can wield clear and significant influence.