Michael Debabrata Patra: BRICS - From acronym to global economic powerhouse

Keynote address delivered by Dr Michael Debabrata Patra, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India in the conference on 'Growth And Development in the BRICS Economies' organised by the Delhi School of Economics (DSE) and Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Delhi, 15 November 2021.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
28 November 2021


Professor Pami Dua, Director, Delhi School of Economics, Prof. Yogesh Singh, Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi, Prof. Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay, Director, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi Centre, Prof. Chetan Ghate, Indian Statistical Institute, distinguished invitees and conference participants, I am honoured to be invited to deliver the inaugural keynote address for the conference on 'Growth and Development in the BRICS Economies' jointly organised by the Delhi School of Economics and the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi Centre. The conference is timely and topical in view of India taking over the presidency of BRICS in 2021. The discussions in the conference and the signed papers to be presented will surely shine light on how the BRICS economies chart their course through the pandemic and into a post-pandemic future. My address is loosely divided into two parts, although I might be moving back and forth to tease out the inter-linkages. The first part will deal with the state of the BRICS economies and the immediate challenges that they face. This will be followed by an overview of the challenges confronting India, in view of the current BRICS presidency.


The acronym BRIC is traced back to 2001 and widely attributed to Jim O'Neill, then Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, but apparently there is some dispute about its origin. Be that as it may, the first formal meeting of BRIC, i.e. Brazil, Russia, India and China, represented by their Leaders took place in Yekaterinburg, Russia in 2009. South Africa joined in 2010 and completed the BRICS. Together the BRICS account for more than 40 per cent of the world's population, a quarter of global GDP, a quarter of global direct foreign investment and close to a fifth of world trade. It is in this context that the BRICS are being regarded as an emerging global powerhouse.