Association of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa

BRICS is an acronym used to talk about the countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Many economists think that all these countries are at a similar stage of economic development. When people write about these countries, they usually write "BRICS" or the "BRICS countries".

Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa
Map of BRIC countries
Map of BRIC countries


Federative Republic of Brazil
President (head of state and government): Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
Russian Federation
President (head of state): Vladimir Putin
Prime Minister (head of government): Mikhail Mishustin
Republic of India
President (head of state): Droupadi Murmu
Prime Minister (head of government): Narendra Modi
People's Republic of China
President (head of state): Xi Jinping
Premier (head of government): Li Keqiang
Republic of South Africa
President (head of state): Cyril Ramaphosa
Saudi Arabia

  • Total : $18,486 billion (2010 estimate)
  • China $10,084 billion
  • India$4,001 billion
  • Russia $2,219 billion
  • Brazil $2,182 billion
  • Total : $10,676 billion (2010 estimate)
  • China $5,745 billion
  • Brazil $2,024 billion
  • Russia $1,477 billion
  • India$1,430 billion
  • Total : 38,518,338 km2 (2010 estimate)
  • Russia 17,075,400 km2
  • China 9,640,821 km2
  • Brazil 8,514,877 km2
  • India3,287,240 km2
  • Total : 2,851,302,297 (2010 estimate)
  • China 1,336,970,000
  • India1,179,618,000
  • Brazil 192,787,000
  • Russia 141,927,297

The acronym was invented by Jim O'Neill, an economist who worked for Goldman Sachs. In 2001, O'Neill wrote an article that he called "Building Better Global Economic BRICs".[1][2][3]

Mexico and South Korea were the only other countries with economies that are like the BRICs. O'Neill did not include these countries because they were considered already more developed, as they were already members of the OECD.[4]

In August 2023, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were invited to join the group. Full membership of these countries will take effect on 1 January 2024.[5] They also proposed to have a “partnership model” for other countries and talked about starting a common currency. They planned to use the US dollar less.[6]

Current leaders


Countries that have applied for membership


A total of 15 countries have formally applied to join BRICS, listed as follows:[7]


  1. Kowitt, Beth (2009-06-17). "For Mr. BRIC, nations meeting a milestone". Retrieved 2009-06-18.
  2. Global Economics Paper No. 99, Dreaming with BRICs and Global Economics Paper 134, How Solid Are the BRICs?
  3. Economist's Another BRIC in the wall 2008 article
  4. "How Solid are the BRICs?" (PDF). Global Economics. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
  5. Plessis, Carien du; Miridzhanian, Anait; Acharya, Bhargav; Miridzhanian, Anait; Acharya, Bhargav (2023-08-25). "BRICS welcomes new members in push to reshuffle world order". Reuters. Retrieved 2023-09-21.
  6. Cotterill, Joseph (2023-08-24). "Brics leaders invite 6 nations including Saudis and Iran to join bloc". Financial Times. Retrieved 2023-08-25.
  7. Prange, Astrid (27 Mar 2023). "A new world order? BRICS nations offer alternative to West – DW – 04/10/2023". Retrieved 24 Aug 2023.
  8. "Five Arab states plus Iran among 19 nations ready to join BRICS". The Cradle. 30 April 2023.
  9. Devonshire-Ellis, Chris (20 June 2023). "Bangladesh Formally Applies To Join BRICS". Silk Road Briefing. Archived from the original on 21 June 2023. Retrieved 22 June 2023.
  10. "Belarus says it has applied to join BRICS club, RIA reports". Reuters. 25 July 2023 – via
  11. Ramos, Daniel (31 July 2023). "Bolivia president to attend BRICS summit in bid for new investment". Reuters – via
  12. Omirgazy, Dana (5 June 2023). "Kazakhstan Seeks to Join BRICS and Enhance Trade and Economic Cooperation". Astana Times.
  13. "South Africa: 8 Arab countries request to join BRICS". Middle East Monitor. 15 August 2023.
  14. "Pakistan seeks BRICS membership, despite India roadblock". Al Jazeera. 24 November 2023.
  15. Ahmed Alqarout (28 August 2023). "Is BRICS really the lifeline Palestine needs?".
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Wang Yi Chairs Dialogue of Foreign Ministers between BRICS and Emerging Markets and Developing Countries". June 2023.