Predictions about the BRICS countries as the fastest growing economies haven't quite panned out. Instead, the alliance is now offering a diplomatic forum and development financing, outside of the Western mainstream.
The acronym began as a somewhat optimistic term to describe what were the world's fastest-growing economies at the time. But now the BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa — are setting themselves up as an alternative to existing international financial and political forums.
"The founding myth of the emerging economies has faded," confirmed Günther Maihold, deputy director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, or SWP. "The BRICS countries are experiencing their geopolitical moment."
The G7 is an "informal forum" of heads of state of the world's most advanced economies, founded in 1975. Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Canada and the US are members, as is the EU.