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Backgrounder: BRICS summit


20:01, March 25, 2013

DURBAN, South Africa, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The 5th BRICS Summit will kick off on March 26 in South Africa's coastal city of Durban, the first time that the summit is held on African soil.

The two-day summit, under the theme of "BRICS and Africa -- Partnership for integration and Industrialization," is expected to seek to unlock potential for cooperation among BRICS countries, which group Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and between BRICS members and Africa.

The BRICS Summit will be attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Leaders of the African Union and other heads of African nations are expected to participate in the event.

Organizers have also invited 15 African Heads of States and Governments. These include the Chairperson of the African Union; the Chairperson of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee; the Heads of State and Government Chairing the AU's Eight Regional Economic Communities (RECs) as well as the Heads of State and Government Championing the AU/NEPAD Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative.

Leaders attending the summit are expected to hold talks over the highly-anticipated BRICS development bank, foreign reserves pool as well as issues in terms of infrastructure in Africa.

Coined by Jim O'Neill in 2011 in a paper entitled "Building Better Global Economic BRICs", BRIC used to be a grouping acronym that refers to Brazil, Russia, India and China. In 2010, South Africa was officially admitted as a BRIC member after being invited by the members to join the group.

Once a loose political grouping, the BRICS bloc of nations is now an economic and robust locomotive which represents about 40 percent of the world's population, nearly a fifth of global gross domestic product, an estimated USD 4.4 trillion worth of combined foreign reserves and 17 percent of world trade.

The 5th summit will complete the first cycle of BRICS summits. Following are some facts about four previous summits.

On June 16, 2009, leaders from Brazil, Russia, India and China held the first formal meeting in Yekaterinburg, Russia, during which they founded their cooperative mechanism known as BRIC. At the first BRIC summit, the leaders of the BRIC countries discussed issues including the reform of international financial institutions, food safety, energy security, climate change, future dialogues of BRIC, and prospects for cooperation. At the end of the Yekaterinburg summit, they issued a joint statement.

On April 15, 2010, the second summit of BRIC countries was held in Brasilia, Brazil. Leaders of the four emerging economies exchanged views on a wide range of issues, such as the global economic and financial situation, reform of the world's financial institutions, climate change and cooperation among BRIC nations. The meeting also resulted in a joint statement.

On April 14, 2011 the third BRICS summit was held in China's southern city of Sanya, with South Africa participating as an official member for the first time. The leaders had in-depth exchanges of views on the international situation, as well as economic, financial and development issues, and outlined their future cooperation. The Sanya Declaration, issued after the summit, outlined the countries' future cooperation and their decision to deepen exchanges and cooperation in fields such as finance, industry and commerce, science, technology and energy.

On March 29, 2012, the fourth BRICS summit was held in New Delhi, under the theme "BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Security and Prosperity." The leaders jointly issued New Delhi Declaration, a blueprint for the emerging new world order that would have a profound impact on global affairs over the rest of this century.

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