The BRICS nations are growing at a much faster pace than the West.

8 Things You Should Know About The BRICS Nations

BRICS nations have been rising in economic power and prestige over the last decade, at a faster pace than the West.

Here are 8 facts you should know about the BRICS:

1. BRICS is a bloc of fast-growing developing countries.

BRICS countries are the fastest-growing developing countries in the world.
Flags of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa courtesy of Wikipedia.

The term was coined by a Goldman Sachs economist in a 2001 paper (pdf), referring to the world’s largest and most influential developing economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa

Initially, the term was BRIC and referred to the first four countries in the acronym. That group was officially formed in 2008 – South Africa was added in 2010.

2. It functions as a forum for discussion and cooperation between non-Western nations.

Centered around an annual summit, the purpose of BRICS is to facilitate discussion and to “create the conditions for a fairer world order.”

Its members are all seeking more influence in Western-led institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, as well as a move away from the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

3. It recently announced that it is creating its own $100 billion global bank.

BRICS leaders shaking hands at the 2012 summit.
Photo of leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa courtesy of Wikipedia.

Similar to the IMF, the newly created New Development Bank can dispense money to any participating nation that finds itself in a crisis, for instance by buying up local currency to counter an outflow of capital.

4. Together, the BRICS nations account (pdf) for about 20% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product…

GDP numbers courtesy of the World Bank (pdf).

5. … and are home to almost 3 billion people, more than 40% (pdf) of the world’s population…

6. … which includes around 50% (pdf) of the world’s poor.

7. They all possess (military and non-military) nuclear technology.

Although Russia is the only BRICS nation to rely on nuclear energy for a significant amount of its electricity (around 20%) , all five BRICS nations operate nuclear power plants and have plans to expand them.

Additionally, Russia, China and India have large arsenals of nuclear weapons, while Brazil and South Africa have both abandoned nuclear weapon programs in the past.

8. A planned BRICS Internet cable will allow traffic to circumvent the West (and the NSA).

The BRICS Internet cable will allow participating nations to circumvent the West.
Image courtesy of the BRICS cable project. Flags of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa all via Wikipedia Commons. Modified by Curiousmatic.

The cable, which has been in the works since 2011, may be ready by mid-2015 (although it’s been delayed before).

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Ole Skaar