The BRICS countries bloc, made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has made a strong entrance into the world arena. Its potential for becoming a major international political and economic player, however, does not mean this group’s development model is fundamentally different from that of Northern countries. These countries fit into international production chains as suppliers of raw materials and cheap manufactured goods, produced with intensive exploitation of their respective labor forces and raw materials.This factsheet brings out these dimensions for the bloc. On the one hand, it brings greater economic, political, counter-hegemonic and prodemocracy potential to the international system. Yet the members face huge challenges to overcome inequalities and an unjust development model that violates human rights and is rooted in the overexploitation of nature.