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Last modified: 2024-03-16 by zachary harden
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The term BRIC was originally developed in the context of foreign investment strategies. It was introduced in the 2001 publication, Building Better Global Economic BRICs by then-chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Jim O'Neill. It was then expanded to include South Africa, as BRICS. Its name is derived from the union of the initials of each original member country: B(razil)R(ussia)I(ndia)C(hina)S(outh Africa). It is currently called BRICS+ since it further expanded to include additional Member States. On September 20, 2006, the first BRICS Ministerial Meeting was held at the proposal of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the margins of a UN General Assembly Session in New York. Foreign ministers of Russia, Brazil and China and the Indian Defence Minister took part in the meeting. They expressed their interest in expanding multilateral cooperation. The grouping has held annual summits since 2009, with member countries taking turns to host. Prior to South Africa's admission, two BRIC summits were held, in 2009 and 2010. The first five-member BRICS summit was held in 2011. It currently (as of 2024) has 10 Member States as follows: Brazil, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and United Arab Emirates
Esteban Rivera, 6 January 2024

Just to avoid confusion, BRICS+, that exists since 2017, is another group of countries extending the BRICS but not the new name of the BRICS when it expanded to include additional Member States in 2024. Its additional+ members are: Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Pakistan, Turkiye (Turkey) and Vietnam. A similar expanded group is ASEAN+ that adds some working countries to the core ASEAN members.
Jean-Marc Merklin, 7 January 2024

The BRICS is a grouping of the world economies initially comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The original acronym "BRIC", or "BRICS" following the admission of South Africa in 2010, was coined in 2001 by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill to describe fast-growing economies that he predicted would collectively dominate the global economy by 2050. The BRICS were originally identified for the purpose of highlighting investment opportunities and had not been a formal intergovernmental organisation. Since 2009, they have increasingly formed into a more cohesive geopolitical bloc, with their governments meeting annually at formal summits and coordinating multilateral policies. Bilateral relations among BRICS are conducted mainly on the basis of non-interference, equality, and mutual benefit. The BRICS nations are considered a geopolitical rival to the G7 bloc of leading advanced economies, announcing competing initiatives such as the New Development Bank, the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement, the BRICS payment system, the BRICS Joint Statistical Publication and the BRICS basket reserve currency. Since 2022, the group has sought to expand membership, with several developing countries expressing interest in joining. The 15th annual BRICS summit was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, between 22 and 24 August 2023, during which South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had been invited to become members of BRICS from 01 January 2024. However, the new President of Argentina, Javier Milei, subsequently declined the invittaion to join. The new members of what is now referred to as BRICS+ are Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The expanded group has a combined population of 3.5 billion, or 45% of the world’s population. Its combined economy is worth US$28.5 trillion, or 28% of the global economy and it will be producing about 44% of the world’s crude oil. There is as yet no distinctive flag for the grouping.
Bruce Berry, 9 January 2024

In my message to Esteban, I pointed out that the name BRICS+ had already been used for another group for several years. But from what Bruce, and Esteban, just said, it seems that BRICS+ will now be used since 2024 for the old BRICS. Which would mean that the configuration of the old BRICS+ has become obsolete. The allusion to Asean only served to illustrate that it was a type of grouping also used elsewhere (Asean+, G20+). However, I'm waiting to see confirmation of that new acronym because I don't see any clear sources for that. In any case, it would collide with the already existing name for this organisational platform already called BRICS+ whose initial list of participating countries I gave seems to have evolved.Jean-Marc Merklin, 9 January 2024

Summit flags

2020 BRICS summit (12th)

[Eurasian Patent Organization flag]
source; image by Zachary Harden, 12 March 2024


The BRICS Games, a yearly multi-sport event organised by the countries of the BRICS economic group. The event is generally organized by the country which holds the chairmanship of the group in the year. In 2020, following the results of the first BRICS Sport Ministers Meeting, a Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of physical education and sport was adopted, which, among other things, provides for the holding of the annual BRICS Sports Games by the chair country. So far the Games have been BRICS Games 2018 (1st) BRICS Games 2021 (2nd) postponed to 2022) (official website: ) BRICS Games 2024 (official website: ) * In 2019, 2020, and 2021, due to the threat of the spread of COVID-19, the Games were held online. Sources: and
Esteban Rivera, 6 January 2024

New Development Bank

[Eurasian Patent Organization flag]
source; image by Zachary Harden, 12 March 2024