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  • >>>>Dean Grillot: We cannot discuss the global economy without mentioning some of the largest

  • and fastest growing countries in the world. These countries have come to be known as the

  • BRICS countries: B R I C S, which is an acronym for the collective that includes the countries

  • of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Originally, beginning with their first

  • meeting in 2008, this group was just the BRIC countries. But in 2010, South Africa joined

  • this group of growing economic powers that are clearly exerting more power and influence

  • in their respective regions and around the globe.

  • Taken together, these five countries have a gross domestic product valued at nearly

  • 20 trillion dollars, they own about four trillion dollars of foreign currency, and they represent

  • approximately three billion people, which is nearly half of the world's population.

  • Given such significant financial and human resources, the BRICS countries are undoubtedly

  • a group that requires attention.

  • Moreover in 2011, these countries established the BRICS forum to encourage and facilitate

  • stronger cooperation on commercial, political, and cultural issues. In particular, the group

  • vowed to create its own development bank -- possibly to rival the well established International

  • Monetary Fund and World Bank.

  • Although at least one of the BRICS members has publicly mentioned that the group's purpose

  • is to defend developing countries and promote peace, relations among the BRICS countries

  • are not entirely easy and without their own difficulties. These countries also have their

  • significant disagreements, often compete with one another in global markets -- especially

  • energy markets -- and even experience inter-group territorial disputes. Despite their common

  • interests in working together and collectively facing global economic forces, they also face

  • a number of issues that could tear them apart.

  • Nonetheless, the existence of a united front and the development of the BRICS Forum is

  • something that other major economic powers of the world cannot ignore. But you tell us

  • what you think. Are the BRICS countries a challenge to other economic powers in the

  • global community and a threat to global economic stability? Or are they likely to promote more

  • even growth around the world and contribute to more peaceful and globally beneficial economic

  • relations? Tell us what you think.

>>>>Dean Grillot: We cannot discuss the global economy without mentioning some of the largest

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