BRIC and BRICS are the former and current names of an intergovernmental economic alliance between several countries regarded as up-and-coming economic powers. The original BRIC group was founded in 2006 by four countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. In 2010, South Africa joined and BRIC was replaced by BRICS. In August 2023, it was announced that six more countries would become fully BRICS members as of January 01, 2024: Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.
In addition, at least 16 more countries have applied for membership to BRICS, mostly in 2022 or 2023: Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Honduras, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Nigeria, Palestine, Senegal, Thailand, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
The BRIC acronym was first used in 2001 by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill, who identified the countries as all having reached the same stage of economic development and predicted they would dominate the global economy by 2050. The BRIC organization became formal in 2006, and its first annual in-person summit took place in 2009. BRICS focuses upon helping its members develop solid financial and economic policies and upon promoting its members' interests and influence on the global financial market. It is considered by many to be the primary balance to the G7 countries
Even before the 2024 expansion, the BRICS nations covered more than one-quarter of the world’s land area (over 68.5 million square kilometers) and were home to more than 3 billion people—more than 40% of the world’s total population. With a combined GDP in excess of of $20 trillion, BRICS could one day become the largest economic entity in the world.
Brazil, Russia, India, and China were the four founding members of BRIC (in 2006), which became BRICS with the addition of South Africa in 2010. Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates will become full BRICS members as of Jan. 01, 2024, and at least 16 additional countries have applied for future membership.