The aim of the academic conference was to deliberate on the challenges and issues faced by the BRICS nation and how together BRICS as an organization can forge ahead to play a significant role in global governance. As per World Bank statistics, BRICS had a combined Gross Domestic Product of US$ 13.9 trillion as of 2011 and will account for 61% of global gross domestic product growth in 2014, according to the International Monetary Fund.
The acronym BRIC came into popular usage about a decade ago as an easy way to refer to the four fastest emerging markets: Brazil, Russia, India and China. With South Africa joining in, BRICS now has a transcontinental outreach linking four continents which occupies quarter of the world's land mass and is a representative of the emerging economies.
Hon'ble Minister for External Affairs, Salman Khurshid, talked about the opportunities and vulnerabilities of BRICS nations and compared the different democracy and governance practiced by the two most powerful countries of BRICS; India and China. While India takes time to build consensus over a policy matter, leadership in China may not have to go through such process, which in effect may be a critical advantage for them as of now, pertaining to policy matters and trade guidelines.
Dr. Jitendra K. Das, Director FORE School of Management and Chairperson of the convention, in his opening speech mentioned how the global order has been witnessing an increase in the number of economic congregations and a shift in economic power was taking place from the global North to the global South. Emerging markets are playing an increasingly important role in global supply chain strategies as manufacturers look to the next wave of low-cost production locations. He also observed that the rapid recovery of BRICS economies from the financial crisis highlighted their role as growth drivers of the global economy.
Prof. Chintamani Mahapatra, Chairman, Centre for Canadian, US and Latin American Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Prof. Rakesh Mohan Joshi from Indian Institute of Foreign Trade; Prof. Charan Wadhva from Centre for Policy Research; Prof. Suresh Kumar from Dept. of African Studies, University of Delhi and editor of Indian Journal of African Studies; Prof. Abdul Nafey, from Latin American Studies, JNU; Prof. Dev Nathan Institute for Human Development and Research Fellow, Centre for Globalization, Governance and Competitiveness, Duke University, USA; Prof. Faisal Ahmed, Faculty of International Business, FORE School of Management, among other present academicians, deliberated on topics like : Business Development Opportunities among intra-BRICS countries, Inclusive Growth and sustainable global development; Urbanization and labour market conditions; Issues related to the inclusion of other countries in BRICS; Understanding the benefits of BRICS Development Bank and Issues faced by the respective countries.
While most agreed on the prospect of growth and opportunities which is still very positive, some researchers were skeptical of the BRICS nations facing crucial challenges to achieve sustained growth, and their not so encouraging GDPs.