The fifth BRICS summit will begin in the South African port city of Durban on Tuesday. Following are basic facts about the grouping.BRICS consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, with the name formed by the initials of the five emerging economies. It had been previously known as BRIC before South Africa joined the group in 2010.BRICS countries make up about 42 percent of the world's total population, 20 percent of global economic output and 15 percent of world trade, while their total contribution to global economic growth has risen to about 50 percent in the wake of the financial crisis.As emerging economies, the BRICS countries have common ground on many regional and international issues, despite their national differences.Dialogue and cooperation among the BRICS countries have been strengthened, as evidenced by frequent exchanges of views on the global economy and development.Practical cooperation among BRICS countries in areas such as finance, economy and trade, industry and commerce, agriculture, sanitation, and science and technology has brought substantial benefits to their peoples.In June 2009, leaders from Brazil, Russia, India and China held the first formal gathering in Yekaterinburg, Russia, at which they founded their cooperative mechanism known as BRIC. Four summits have been held so far.The BRICS mechanism has become an important platform for dialogue and cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries. It has also become a key force in safeguarding world peace and stability, reviving global economic growth, strengthening multilateralism and promoting democratization of international relations.