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BRICS: a dynamic group dominated by China

As the leaders of BRICS five emerging nations meet in Durban for a summit on Tuesday, economic data shows that the grouping of Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa now account for 25 percent of global GDP and 40 percent of the world’s population.

Here are some facts and figures about BRICS:

China: Boasting the world’s second largest economy — trailing only the United States — economic power-house China has become the informal leader of the group.

With a gross domestic product (GDP) of $8.25 trillion in 2012, the IMF estimates that the Chinese economy will climb by a whopping 8.2 percent in 2013.

In 2011, it clinched the No. 1 spot as exporter of goods.

It remains the globe’s most-populated country, with 1.34 billion inhabitants.

Brazil: With a GDP of $2.425 trillion in 2012, Brazil is the world’s seventh largest economy. It holds only a modest place in world trade activity, however, and experienced sluggish growth of one percent last year.

The Brazilian economy, with its population of 196 million people, is forecast to grow 3.5 percent this year.

Russia: Ranking ninth on the list of the world’s biggest economies, Russia accumulated a GDP of $1.953 billion in 2012, boosted mainly by its gas exports, making it the world’s eighth largest exporter.

With a population of 141.9 million, Russia has managed to fend off much of the financial fallout caused by the European debt crisis, and despite experiencing a slight slow-down in economic growth in 2012, its economy is forecast to jump 3.7 percent in 2013.

India: Despite its population of 1.24 billion, India remains a smaller player among the world’s economies, falling into a 10th place with a GDP worth 1.946 trillion.

After shrinking from 7.9 percent to 4.5 percent growth between 2011 and 2012, India’s economy is expected to expand 5.9 percent this year.

South Africa: Smallest of the BRICS economies is South Africa. Placing 41st world exporters, the country has a GDP of $390 billion and a population of 50.5 million.

Having suffered amid the global financial down-turn, South Africa’s economy is forecast to grow by 2.8 percent this year and by 4.1 percent next year.