International ConfErence on
a strategic alliance for global trade
CONFERENCE Introduction

The contemporary global order is witnessing an increase in the number of economic congregations and inter-governmental organisations. The congregation of Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) is one such initiative which is destined to play a significant role in global governance and multilateral rule-making. BRICS, which has a trans-continental outreach, occupies quarter of the world's land mass and is representative of the emerging economies. Moreover, it represents nearly half of the world population. As per World Bank statistics, BRICS has a combined Gross Domestic Product (US$ at current prices) of $13.9 trillion as of 2011.

The idea of BRIC, conceived in 2001, reflected a shift in economic power from the global North to the global South. The idea was formalised in the year 2006 on the sidelines of the meeting of foreign ministers of the four countries at United Nations General Assembly. Further, the 2011 Sanya Summit in China paved the way for inclusion of South Africa, which represented the African continent, thereby transforming BRIC into BRICS. The BRICS Leader's summit held in New Delhi in March 2012 has already emphasized on a larger role for the congregation on issues pertaining to governance and political coherence. The forthcoming BRICS summit, scheduled in South Africa on 26-27 March 2013, carries the theme "BRICS and AFRICA: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation". This Conference will set the stage for the forthcoming discussion and dialogue.