BEIJING, April 14 (Xinhua) -- A BRICS summit begins in China's southern Hainan province on Thursday. Following are basic facts about the grouping.
BRICS groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, with the name being the initials of the five countries. The grouping had been called BRIC before the accession of South Africa in December 2010.
The combined territories of the BRICS countries account for nearly 30 percent of the world's total land area and they are home to 42 percent of the world's total residents. In 2010, the group contributed 18 percent of the world's GDP and 15 percent of global trade.
BRICS is playing an increasingly important role in world economy. From 2001 to 2010, inter-BRICS trade shot up with an average annual growth rate of 28 percent. Total trade among the five countries stood at 230 billion U.S. dollars in 2010.
As emerging economies, the BRICS countries share similar views on many regional and international issues. Over recent years, dialogue and cooperation among the countries have continued to be strengthened, as evidenced by frequent exchanges of opinions on important issues concerning international economy and development.
Thursday's BRICS summit is the third one in as many years although it is the first for South Africa. The previous two BRIC summits were held in Russia in 2009 and in Brazil in 2010.