The 10th summit of BRICS countries opened on July 25 in Johannesburg, South Africa, with discussions expected to focus on developing international trade wars.
The BRICS group unites the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
South African Trade Minister Rob Davies said the international trade system was experiencing a period of "enormous turbulence," citing concerns over new U.S. tariffs and retaliatory actions from other countries.
It was "a moment of crisis for the global multilateral trading system," Davies said.
The official agenda for the summit also includes topics such as peacekeeping, new technologies, and vaccine research.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the heads of several African countries have also been invited to attend the BRICS summit.
The BRICS group represents more than 40 percent of the world's population.
The summit opened with a trade forum on July 25, with the heads of state set to hold talks the following day.