The Evolution of BRICS: A Long-term Perspective

The Evolution of BRICS: A Long-term Perspective

The Evolution of BRICS: A Long-term Perspective


In August, South Africa witnessed the induction of six new members into the BRICS grouping. While some may argue that this particular meeting failed to yield substantial results, it’s crucial to view BRICS through a lens that considers its evolution over time rather than assessing it based on a single event.


GS – 02 (Groupings & Agreements Involving India)


  • UNSC
  • Beijing Declaration

Mains Question:

Discuss the evolution and significance of BRICS as an economic alliance and its potential impact on global dynamics. (150 words)

Dimensions of the Article:

  • Economic Compulsion as the Genesis of BRICS
  • BRICS as a Counterbalance
  • Seeking Alternatives in a Polarized World
  • The Rise of Digital Currencies
  • Africa: The Continent of Promise

Economic Compulsion as the Genesis of BRICS:

  • BRICS emerged primarily from economic compulsion.
  • Unlike alliances involved in military and security endeavors, BRICS does not engage in nation policing or peacekeeping operations. This grouping places its focus on economic prowess and potential.
  • BRICS, comprising countries with robust economies, collectively accounts for 36% of the global GDP and is estimated to represent 47% of the world population by 2050. India and China, two BRICS members, are amongst the fastest-growing economies globally. Their burgeoning economic stature is expected to position them within the top three world economies by 2030.

BRICS as a Counterbalance:

  • BRICS carries the potential to challenge the dominance of the G7 nations, which include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Its expansion with new members presents an intriguing prospect for the global balance of power.

Seeking Alternatives in a Polarized World:

  • In recent times, polarization between the United States and other regions has become increasingly evident, particularly during the Trump administration.
  • Many countries find themselves at odds with the U.S.’s stance on China, resulting in trade conflicts and tariffs. This has prompted countries to seek alternatives that involve China, where BRICS serves as a platform where democratic nations such as India, South Africa, and Brazil can provide a counterweight to China’s influence.

The Rise of Digital Currencies:

  • The global economic landscape is witnessing a shift away from the dominance of the U.S. dollar. Digital currencies are poised to replace traditional currencies.
  • India and China have made substantial strides in digital currency technology, surpassing the U.S. and Europe in this arena. Together, through BRICS, they have the potential to promote their currencies as alternatives to the U.S. dollar.

Africa: The Continent of Promise:

  • Africa holds substantial promise for economic growth in the 21st century. France’s intervention in Niger and Europe’s treatment of migrants have cast a negative image over Europe in the eyes of Africans.
  • Africa is increasingly looking towards China and India for partnership in trade and investment, believing in their development potential. Indian efforts to extend its influence within Africa, such as proposing full membership for the African Union at the G20 summit in New Delhi, are indicative of this emerging trend.

Way Forward:

  • BRICS is not just a headline-making gathering; it’s a long-term endeavor. Each summit contributes to the formation of networks and alliances that will shape the future.
  • BRICS remains a grouping with enduring potential. As Goldman Sachs suggested back in 2003, “If things go right, in less than 40 years, the BRICs economies together could be larger than the G6 in U.S. dollar terms.”


  • BRICS has evolved from a group driven by economic compulsion to a potentially transformative force on the global stage. It represents a counterbalance to existing power dynamics and offers an alternative narrative in an increasingly polarized world.
  • As digital currencies rise and Africa emerges as a continent of promise, the long-term prospects for BRICS continue to gain momentum. It is not just a flash in the pan; it is a grouping poised to shape the future.