The BRICS nations are holding their annual summit this week in Fortaleza, Brazil, and the biggest item on the agenda is the creation of a joint development bank. While all five BRICS countries have pledged to contribute to the $100 billion development bank as well as a reserves fund, China and India are both gunning to be the nation that hosts the institution. Indian trade minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a strong push for his country, saying, “Any city in India has its natural advantages, English-speaking, very skilled manpower, and…India is very centrally located.” Still, there’s no doubt that one country is the real economic powerhouse in BRICS: China.
This Reuters graphic gives some insights into the BRICS numbers.
In terms of both GDP and total reserves, the chart shows that China is the only one of the five nations that has been on a consistent upward trend since 2005, with no dips for the global recession. Its GDP is over four times that of Brazil, the BRICS country with the next-highest GDP, and it has eight times as much reserve currency as Russia, its closest competitor. This has put it in a unique position to make deals and direct trade, according to Reuters, which also reported that China’s President Xi Jinping invited India to become a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Xi also invited India to an APEC summit in November, bringing the South Asian country closer to its longtime goal of joining the trade organization.