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BRICS Information Centre

2016 BRICS Goa Summit
Compliance Report

August 29, 2017

This compliance report assesses the compliance of the BRICS members over the period of 17 October 2016 to 14 August 2017. It assesses 10 priority commitments of the 45 made at the Goa Summit hosted by India on 15-16 October 2017. This report was prepared by the BRICS Research Group led by the Center for International Institutions Research of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) and the Global Governance Program at Trinity College in the University of Toronto.

Download the full report here.

We welcome feedback on this report! If you have any comment about our assessment, or if you know of any actions taken by a BRICS member between 17 October 2016 to 14 August 2017 that might affect that assessment, please contact us at

Introduction and Summary

The 2016 BRICS Goa Summit Final Compliance Report, prepared by the BRICS Research Group (based at the University of Toronto and the Center for International Institutions Research of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), analyses compliance performance by BRICS countries with a selection of priority commitments drawn from the total of 45 commitments made by the leaders at the Goa Summit on 15-16 October 2016. The report covers actions on ten commitments taken by the BRICS countries during the period from 17 October 2016 to 31 August 2017.

The role of the BRICS in the global governance system is steadily increasing, as the countries have transformed a purely economic concept of the BRIC into a new global governance institution. Also, in spite of the recent economic slowdown, the BRICS countries collectively constitute almost a third of the global gross domestic product and are likely to outperform the G7 for the next several years.

However, to stay relevant in the global economy and retain its influence, the BRICS needs to further augment cooperation. In line with this idea, the five members have been broadening and deepening their coordination and collaboration in different areas and in different formats. Since the establishment of the format, the countries have held almost 160 meetings at different levels. Apart from the summits, these include the meetings of the foreign, finance, trade, agriculture and health ministers, as well as representatives of statistical offices, competition authorities and heads of development banks. These meetings resulted in the adoption of almost 60 documents and establishment of a growing number of working groups, contact groups and other mechanisms of coordination. The dynamics of BRICS cooperation has been positive, and the speed of its institutionalization has been high. At the summits between 2009 and 2016, BRICS leaders adopted 406 commitments and delegated more than 30 mandates to intra-BRICS institutions.[1]


[1] A commitment is defined as a discrete, specific, publicly expressed, collectively agreed statement of intent; a promise by summit members that they will undertake future action to move toward, meet or adjust to an identified target. More details are contained in the Compliance Coding Manual (available at

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Methodology and Scoring System

This report traces BRICS compliance with selected commitments made at the 2016 Goa Summit. It draws on the methodology developed by the G8 Research Group, which has been monitoring G8 compliance since 1996. Since 2008 the same methodology has been adopted for monitoring G20 performance. The use of this time-tested methodology provides for cross-institutional, cross-member and cross-issue consistency and thus allows compatibility and comparability of the compliance performance by different summit institutions and establishes a foundation for evidence-based assessment of the effectiveness of these institutions.[2]The methodology uses a scale from −1 to +1, where +1 indicates full compliance with the stated commitment, −1 indicates a failure to comply or action taken that is directly opposite to the stated goal of the commitment, and 0 indicates partial compliance or work in progress, such as initiatives that have been launched but are not yet near completion and whose final results can therefore not be assessed. Each member receives a score of −1, 0 or +1 for each commitment. For convenience, the scientific scores reported in the tables in this summary have been converted to percentages, where −1 equals 0%, 0 equals 50% and +1 equals 100%.[3]


[2] Informal summitry institutions are defined as international institutions with limited membership, relatively low bureaucracy and reliance on open, flexible and voluntary approaches. Regular meetings of the heads of states and governments who engage on a wide range of international, regional and domestic politics stand at the pinnacle of such international arrangements, which involve many actors operating according to established procedures on two levels: domestic and international. Commitments contained in the collectively agreed documents are not legally-binding but their implementation is stimulated by peer pressure. Among such bodies engaged in global and regional governance are G7/G8, G20, BRICS, APEC and others.

[3] The formula to convert a score into a percentage is P=50×(S+1), where P is the percentage and S is the score.

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Breakdown of Commitments

The number of concrete commitments made by the BRICS leaders at their summits has increased steadily. There were 15 commitments in the 2009 Joint Statement of BRIC Leaders, with five in the area of energy and three related to overcoming the food crisis and establishing favourable conditions for agriculture development. At the 2010 summit, BRIC leaders made 31 commitments. As the agenda expanded decisions were made in new areas: nine commitments on energy, three on finance, five on development cooperation, three on trade, and two on global financial architecture reform and the institutionalization of intra-BRICS cooperation. There were 38 commitments made at the 2011 Sanya Summit: six on environmental protection and adaptation to climate change, and five each on macroeconomic issues, trade and international cooperation. For the first time the BRICS leaders made commitments on public health, human rights, accountability and combating terrorism. The 2012 Delhi Summit issued 32 commitments with a focus on trade (nine commitments), regional security (four commitments) and development assistance (three commitments), but none on financial regulation. The 2013 Durban Summit again produced no commitments on finance and was dominated by the South African presidency's priorities of development, regional security and international institutional reform.

At the Fortaleza Summit in 2014, the BRICS leaders agreed on 68 commitments, the highest number to that time. They covered all the priorities addressed by the previous presidencies. Moreover, the leaders reiterated their commitments on financial regulation, food and agriculture, science, information and communication, and cooperation in culture. They also made commitments in the new areas of environmental protection and anti-corruption.

The 2015 Ufa Summit marked beginning of the NDB and CRA operations. The leaders expressed their expectation that the NDB would approve its inaugural investment projects in early 2016. In the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, the leaders directed their relevant ministries and agencies to take practical steps for efficient implementation and to assess the feasibility of developing a roadmap for BRICS trade, economic and investment cooperation for the period until 2020. They confirmed their commitment to the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals and to South-South cooperation. For the first time in many years, the leaders' declaration made pledges on health. BRICS members agreed to work together in areas such as managing risks related to emerging infectious diseases with pandemic potential and eradicating communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, poliomyelitis and measles.

In Goa the leaders reiterated the determination to use all policy tools — monetary, fiscal, and structural, individually and collectively, to achieve the goal of strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. On energy they expressed support for a wider use of natural gas as an economically efficient and clean fuel.

They agreed to strengthen joint efforts to enhance security in the use of ICTs, combating the use of ICTs for criminal and terrorist purposes and improving cooperation between technical, law enforcement, R&D and innovation in the field of ICTs and capacity building institutions. Last but not least they confirmed commitment for cooperation among health and/or regulatory authorities, with a view to share best practices and discuss challenges, as well as identify potential areas for convergence

The commitments of the BRICS, as a group of major emerging economies, fall mainly into the areas relevant for the five countries (see Table 1). In particular, members' priorities for stimulating domestic economic recovery are reflected in the large share of trade and development commitments. Decisions on international cooperation and the reform of international institutions, which remain at the core of the BRICS agenda, also constitute a substantial share at about 10% of the total. At the same time, each presidency strives to incorporate its own priorities in the agenda and can thus substantially influence the breakdown of commitments. For instance, decisions made during the Russian presidency in 2009 focused mainly on energy and agriculture. In 2010 Brasilia retained energy as a top priority and also added development issues to the agenda. The 2011 summit in China shifted toward climate change. The 2012 Indian and 2013 South African presidencies considered regional security as a priority, with the Durban Summit also addressing development issues including infrastructure development and regional integration.

Brazil's 2014 presidency retained the BRICS focus on trade, international cooperation, development and finance, while for the first time paying increased attention to socio-economic issues. Russia's 2015 presidency enhanced cooperation with other international institutions and agreed on specific measures in the areas of food and agriculture, ICT and crime and corruption. India's presidency concentrated on institutionalization of BRICS cooperation and extension of people-to-people contacts, holding about a hundred of various events in different fields, including cultural, scientific and sporting.

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Selection of Commitments

For each compliance cycle (that is, the period between summits), the research team selects commitments that reflect the breadth of the BRICS agenda and the priorities of the summit's host, while balancing the selection to allow for comparison with past and future summits.[4] The selection also takes into account the breakdown of issue areas and the proportion of commitments in each one. The primary criteria for selecting a priority commitment for assessment are the comprehensiveness and relevance to the summit, the BRICS and the world. Selected commitments must meet secondary criteria such as measurability and ability to comply within a year. The tertiary criteria include significance, as identified by relevant stakeholders in the host country and scientific teams.Of the total of 45 commitments made at the 2016 Goa Summit, the BRICS Research Group has selected ten priority commitments for its compliance assessment (see Table 2).


[4] Guidelines for choosing priority commitments, as well as other applicable considerations, are available in the G8 Commitment/Compliance Coding and Reference Manual.

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Compliance Scores

The overall compliance has been high, with all scores except the one for regional security distributed from 0 to +1. The highest level of compliance (+1 or 100%) was registered for four commitments in the areas of Macroeconomic Policy, Trade, Automatic exchange of tax information and ICT. BRICS compliance performance on macroeconomic policy and trade confirms the group's commitment to advance economic growth. BRICS average score for compliance with the commitments on Climate change and Terrorism reached +0.80 (90%). They were followed by the commitment on Corruption and Development each with +0.60 (80%) and Health with +0.40 (70%). These scores indicate the BRICS's adherence to inclusive growth.

The score for the commitment on Regional Security was the lowest at −0.20 (40%). Regional Security has always been a priority on the BRICS agenda. However, most of the countries have not taken actions to support Afghanistan in addressing the three areas of security, socio-economic and good-governance challenges.

Thus, for the period from 17 October 2016 to 31 August 2017, the BRICS countries achieved an average final compliance score of +0.70, which translates into 85%. The final compliance scores by commitment are contained in Table 3.

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Compliance Trends

This is the sixth BRICS compliance report produced by the BRICS Research Group (see Table 4). The 2012 Delhi Summit, at +0.28 or 64%, was a dip between the 2011 Sanya and 2013 Durban summits both at +0.48 or 74%. The 2014 Fortaleza Summit achieved a score of +0.40 (70%), close to the average for all five summits assessed (+0.48 or 74%). The average score for compliance with the Ufa Summit commitments was +0.56 or 78%. The average compliance score for the Goa Summit is the highest in history, at +0.70 (85%). This trends proves the increasing role of BRICS for members' socio-economic policies and global governance in general.

Although the time span is too short to draw strong conclusions on trends, preliminary patterns can be identified with the caveat that assessed commitments in the same issue areas are not identical from one summit to the next.

Given this constraint, the analysis reveals that the BRICS countries complied well with macroeconomic policies commitments (+0.73 or 87%) showing the highest average level. Highs scores are also registered in other areas which constitute the core of BRICS agenda — support to development (+0.57 or 78%) and fighting terrorism (+0.55 or 78%). Moreover, BRICS members comply well with the new commitments on Information and Communications Technologies (+0.90 or 95%). Performance on regional security issues is uneven, with an overall average of −0.20 (40%).

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Table 1: Distribution of BRICS Commitments across Issue Areas, 2009-2016

Issue Area 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Energy 5 9 1 2        
Finance   3 1     6 6 5
Climate change   1 6 3 1 1 1 1
Macroeconomic policy   1 5 1 5 7 6 4
Trade   3 5 9 4 4 5 2
International cooperation 1 2 5 3 6 8 30 7
Socioeconomic 1 1 3 2   7 5 2
Development 1 5 1 3 10 4 4 2
Natural disasters 1 1 1          
Food and agriculture 3   1 1   1 17  
Information and communications technologies     2     1 17 3
Science and education 1 1 1     2 5  
Health     1 1   1 6 2
Human rights     1   1 2 5  
Accountability     1          
Regional security 1   1 4 8 6 6 4
Terrorism     1 1 2 2 1 4
Culture   1       3 1 2
Sport   1            
Reform of international financial institutions 1 2 1 2 9 8 3 2
Nonproliferation         1     1
Crime and corruption           4 10 3
Environment           1 1 1
Tourism 1  
Total 15 31 38 32 47 68 130 45

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Table 2: 2016 BRICS Goa Summit Priority Commitments

Priority Area Commitment
Trade: E-commerce We support efforts aimed at capacity building for effective participation in e-commerce trade to ensure shared benefits.
Development: African Union [We welcome the African Union's (AU) vision, aspirations, goals and priorities for Africa's development enshrined in Agenda 2063, which is complementary with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.] We reaffirm our support for Africa's implementation of its various programmes in pursuit of its continental agenda for peace and socio economic development.
Terrorism: International cooperation We agreed to strengthen cooperation in combating international terrorism both at the bilateral level and at international fora.
Corruption: International cooperation We support the strengthening of international cooperation against corruption, including through the BRICS Anti-Corruption Working Group, as well as on matters related to asset recovery and persons sought for corruption
Health: Anti-microbial resistance [We welcome the High Level meeting on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) during UNGA-71, which addresses the serious threat that AMR poses to public health, growth and global economic stability.] We will seek to identify possibilities for cooperation among our health and/or regulatory authorities, with a view to share best practices and discuss challenges, as well as identifying potential areas for convergence
Macroeconomic policy: Global value chains We agree to work for greater integration of MSMEs in Regional and Global Value Chains
Tax: Automatic exchange of information We reaffirm our commitment to support international cooperation in this regard [in accordance with the principle that profit should be taxed in the jurisdiction where the economic activity is performed and the value is created], including in the Common Reporting Standard for Automatic Exchange of Tax Information (AEOI).
Regional security: Afghanistan We affirm support to the efforts of the Afghan Government to achieve Afghan-led and Afghan-owned national reconciliation and combat terrorism, and readiness for constructive cooperation in order to facilitate security in Afghanistan, promote its independent political and economic course, becoming free from terrorism and drug trafficking
Climate change: Natural gas We support a wider use of natural gas as an economically efficient and clean fuel to promote sustainable development as well as to reduce the greenhouse emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Information and communications technologies We affirm our commitment to bridging digital and technological divides, in particular between developed and developing countries

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Table 3: 2016 BRICS Goa Summit Compliance Scores

  Brazil Russia India China South Africa Average
1 Trade: E-commerce +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1.00 100%
2 Development: African Union +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1.00 100%
3 Terrorism: International cooperation +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1.00 100%
4 Corruption: International cooperation +1 +1 +1 +1 0 +0.80 90%
5 Health: Antimicrobial resistance 0 0 0 +1 +1 +0.40 70%
6 Macroeconomic policy: Global value chains +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1.00 100%
7 Tax: Automatic exchange of information +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1.00 100%
8 Regional Security: Afghanistan −1 0 +1 0 −1 −0.20 40%
9 Climate change: Natural gas +1 +1 +1 +1 0 +0.80 90%
10 Information and communications technologies +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1.00 100%
  Average +0.70 +0.80 +0.90 +0.90 +0.60 +0.78 89%
85% 90% 95% 95% 80%

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Table 4: BRICS Compliance Scores, 2011-2016

  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Average
Trade +0.40 0 +1.00 −1.00   +1.00 +0.28 64%
Development +0.60 +0.40 +0.60 +0.80  +0.40 +1.00 +0.63 82%
Macroeconomic policies     +0.20   +1.00 +1.00 +0.73 87%
Financial regulation +0.40     +0.20 +1.00 +1.00 +0.70 85%
Climate change +0.80 +0.20       +0.80 +0.60 80%
International financial institution reform +0.20 +0.20         +0.20 60%
Energy   +0.60         +0.60 80%
Regional security     +0.20 +0.20 −0.40 −0.20 −0.20 40%
Terrorism     +0.40 +0.60 +0.80& +0.80 +0.65 83%
Environment       +1.00     +1.00 100%
Human rights       +0.60  +0.20   +0.40 70%
Crime and corruption       +0.80   +0.60 +0.70 85%
Information and communications technology         +0.80 +1.00 +0.90 95%
Food and agriculture         +0.80   +0.80 90%
Health           +0.40 +0.40 70%
















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Research Team

Dr. Marina Larionova, Co-director, BRICS Research Group
Professor John Kirton, Co-director, BRICS Research Group
Brittaney Warren, Researcher, BRICS Research Group
Alissa Xinhe Wang, Chair, Summit Studies, BRICS Research Group
Irina Popova, Moscow team leader

Country Specialists

Russia Specialist: Yael Kogan
India Specialist: Nishita Agrawal
South Africa Specialist: Courtney Hallink

Compliance Analysts

Isra Batool
Jamie Chen
Courtney Hallink
Angela Hou
Doris Li
Saakshi Lunkad
Renata Ma
Chinweizu Okeke
Jiayang Shan
Guangquan Shen
Wing Ka Tsang


Alexander Ignatov
Evgeny Tsarik
Ildar Khalilyulin
Kirill Krivosheev
Elizaveta Nekrasova
Irina Popova
Irina Sedova
Maria Strelnikova
Sofia Streltsova

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