by Xinhua writer Jin Jing, Xia Wenhui
YEKATERINBURG, Russia, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Leaders from the BRIC nations -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- held their first official meeting on Tuesday, marking a crucial step by the emerging countries to seek broader consensus and a greater voice in addressing global issues.
After the summit in Russia's Ural city of Yekaterinburg, the leaders put their hands firmly together, a move considered symbolic eight years after the term "BRIC" was coined. The four nations have eventually translated an economic concept into tangible dialogue and cooperation.
The BRIC meeting comes as the world is undergoing a major economic crisis and profound changes.
Apart from efforts to overcome the economic downturn, the world is seeking reform of the existing financial system and a new order of sustainable development after the crisis. It may take a long time to achieve that goal but the BRIC summit is taking a meaningful step in that direction.
The four countries, accounting for 42 percent of the world's population, 14.6 percent of global GDP and 12.8 percent of the global trade volume in 2008, are no doubt a significant part of a modern harmonious world based on equality and fairness.
As Jim O'Neill, the Goldman Sachs economist who coined the term "BRIC" pointed out, the road ahead for the BRICs were loaded with both huge opportunities and challenges.
The BRICs, which span across Asia, Europe and Latin America, feature huge political and cultural diversity. The group needs to establish a sound mechanism for long-term cooperation.
Meanwhile, the BRICs have yet to strengthen mutual trust among themselves, promote the common development of all developing countries, and make the emerging nations a bigger player on the international stage.
The leaders have underlined that dialogue and cooperation between the BRICs should remain open, transparent and not directed against a third party. It is a principle in line with the trend of globalisation and multi-polarization.
Brick by brick, the emerging countries have started to contribute to building a harmonious world. It takes responsibility, confidence and hard efforts for even more BRICs to play their fair part in the global blueprint for development.