When Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill coined the acronym BRIC to describe collectively Brazil, Russia, India and China, the world mainly regarded it as one of the easy-come, easy-go terms in economics. A decade later, O'Neill's concept is not forgotten. It is successfully playing an historic role in representing the shift in global economic power away from developed economies toward the developing world. With BRIC's admission of South Africa, the biggest economy on the African continent, it has grown into BRICS and gained new economic and geopolitical significance.
BRICS celebrated its 10th anniversary in Sanya in south China's Hainan Province, in mid-April. The Sanya Declaration the summit issued elaborated on the vision of the world's five fastest-growing economies for common development and shared prosperity. New initiatives for global economic governance the declaration put forward highlight the importance of emerging economies.
The potential for development and cooperation for BRICS is huge. It covers 30 percent of the land on Earth, 40 percent of its population and 18 percent of global trade. Their joint contribution to the global economic growth nowadays exceeds 50 percent. The group represents a vital driving force for global economic recovery too big to ignore.
The BRICS' cooperation mechanism has gradually taken shape. Through contacts at various levels, BRICS members have built up consensus to work together better in the fields of politics, business and security among other areas. In the meantime, they have negotiated concrete measures to promote further cooperation and coordination.
The dragging financial crisis drew BRICS even closer to seek deeper cooperation. The crisis, while posing common challenges, has provided unprecedented opportunities of enlarging collaboration for mutual benefit. As the traditional powers lack the strength to grow, the performances of BRICS countries make the world believe they will be able to act as a major driver for the global economy.
The BRICS countries are working together not only in the field of business and trade. They wish to have a bigger say in the world politics. Representing the developing world, BRICS is an active player safeguarding world peace and combating hegemony and power politics.
Of course, BRICS will hardly be able to speak with exactly the same voice considering their different civilizations, religions, social systems, and development paths and levels. Fortunately, the leaders of BRICS countries have realized their historical responsibility to coordinate efforts to make the international system more balanced, equitable and sustainable. With political wisdom and resolution, BRICS will make its due contribution.