The term BRICS (an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) was first used in 2001 by Jim O’Neill, then an economist at Goldman Sachs. The strong economic growth of these countries, combined with their important geopolitical position (these 5 countries bring together almost half the world’s population on 4 continents and almost a quarter of the world’s GDP) make the BRICS major players in international economic and financial activities.

Meeting at a summit in Pretoria on Thursday 24 August 2023, the group of five countries (Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa) announced that they would soon be welcoming Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
« Membership will take effect on 1 January 2024 », he added at a joint press conference.