The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa gathered in Brazil's capital Wednesday for the start of the 11th BRICS Summit.
Representing five major emerging economies comprising 42% of the world’s population, the heads of the five nations are expected to hold a closed-door meeting Thursday which will be followed by a business forum.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is hosting Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the two-day summit.
The main topics of the meeting are expected to include the promotion of science, technology and innovation, the digital economy and the strengthening of cooperation in the fight against transnational crime as well as discussions on the collaboration of several productive sectors of the five economies with the New Development Bank, a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS states.
Regional issues such as the ongoing power battle between the current government and opposition leader in Venezuela and the political unrest that began with the re-election of President Evo Morales in Bolivia which resulted in his resignation will also be discussed.
While host country Brazil strongly opposes the Nicolas Maduro government in Venezuela, Moscow and Beijing support it economically.
"It is no secret to anyone that the positions against what happens in Venezuela vary in the BRICS atmosphere," Norberto Moretti, secretary for commercial and economic foreign policy of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said before the summit.
The group will issue a joint statement at the end of the summit which will mark the future of the economic block.
By Susana Noguera in Bogota