The BRICS Without Mortar

Oct 23, 2016 | 13:00 GMT

The BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, find they have less and less in common.


In 2001, Goldman Sachs analyst Jim O'Neill was looking for a quick and catchy way to refer to countries poised to drive growth in the coming decade. The solution he settled on was BRICs, for Brazil, Russia, India and China. From there, a group was born. The countries began meeting annually in 2009 and adopted a capital S when South Africa joined the following year. Though they had little in common beyond their promising economic futures and O'Neill's slick moniker, the BRICS made the most of their serendipitous union. Over the years, their annual gatherings laid the groundwork for new international institutions, such as the New Development Bank. But the BRICS' eighth annual summit, held Oct. 15-16 in Goa, India, was lackluster, and the group's representatives struggled to agree on the content of their declaration. Even the statement's message about combating terrorism proved contentious as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the...

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