BEIJING - "BRIC" is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India and China, the four major developing countries.
Jim O'Neill, global head of economic research at Goldman Sachs, first brought forward the concept of BRIC in 2001. In a report in 2003, O'Neill predicted that the world economic structure would have been reshuffled by 2050, and BRIC would surpass most western developed nations such as Britain, France, Italy and Germany and stand with the United States and Japan to be the world's six major economies.
Along with the publication of the report went broad attention to BRIC, which were regarded as leaders of rising markets, and the concept of BRIC was thus widely accepted around the world.
Territories of the BRIC nations account for 26 percent of the land of the earth, and their population account for 42 percent of the world's total. According to the International Monetary Fund, the four nations registered an average growth rate of 10.7 percent from 2006 to 2008. Their international influence increased significantly along with their fast economic growth.
BRIC nations share similar views on many international and regional issues. In recent years, the four nations strengthened dialogues and cooperation, and held frequent exchanges on major issues in the international economic and development fields.
BRIC leaders held a meeting on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit in Japan's Hokkaido Prefecture in July 2008. In September 2008, foreign ministers of the BRIC nations gathered in Russia's Ural city of Yekaterinburg to discuss issues on the Millennium Development Goals, South-South cooperation, climate change, and energy and food security.
Two months later, BRIC finance ministers met in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where they called for reform of the international financial system to make it properly reflect the transformation of the world economy.