The acronym was coined by Jim O’Neill a Goldman Sachs employee in a 2001 paper entitled “Building Better Global Economic BRICs”. The acronym has come into widespread use as a symbol of the shift in global economic power away from the developed G7 economies to the developing nations.
Political dialogue between the BRIC countries began in New York in September 2006, with a meeting of the BRIC foreign ministers. Four high-level meetings followed, including a full-scale meeting in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on May 16, 2008.
The BRIC countries met for their ﬁrst ofﬁcial summit on 16 June 2009, in Yekaterinburg, Russia, with Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Dmitry Medvedev, Manmohan Singh, and Hu Jintao, the respective leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China, all attending. The core focus of the summit was related to improving the current global economic situation and discussing how the four countries can better work together in the future, as well as a more general push to reform ﬁnancial institutions. There was also discussion surrounding how emerging markets, such as those members of BRIC, could be better involved in global affairs in the future.
In the aftermath of the summit the BRIC nations suggested that there was a need for a new global reserve currency that is ‘diversiﬁed, stable and predictable’. The statement that was released stopped short of making a direct attack on the perceived ‘dominance’ of the US dollar, something which the Russians have been critical of; however, it still led to a fall in the value of the dollar against other major currencies.
South Africa sought membership during 2010 and the process for formal admission began as early as August 2010. South Africa was admitted as a member nation on December 24, 2010 after being formally invited by China and the other BRIC countries to join the group. The group was renamed BRICS to reﬂect the now-ﬁve-nation membership, with an “S” for South Africa appended to the acronym. President Jacob Zuma attended the 2011 BRICS summit in Sanya, Hainan province, China in April 2011 as a full member.