The BRICS story

Almost a decade after the financial crisis, it’s still bilateral and regional economic ties built on hardheaded common interest that can actually deliver


It has been just 15 years since Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs coined the term ‘BRIC’. That’s a short shelf life for a grouping that was supposed to dominate the global economy of the future. But even with Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa—the last one incorporated into the grouping in 2010—joining host India in Goa this past weekend for the 8th BRICS summit, arguing that it remains relevant is becoming increasingly difficult.

Russia has been hit hard by the fall in oil prices, China is in the midst of a difficult economic rebalancing and Brazil’s political and economic turmoil has led to its worst recession in decades.

India might be living up to its billing at the moment, but there is an old lesson to be reiterated here. In the pre-financial crisis years of plenty, high-profile groupings like BRICS made for good headlines. But almost a
decade on, it’s still bilateral and regional economic ties built on hardheaded common interest that can actually deliver.