News

BRICS Push for Political Clout


Brazil, Russia, India and China have become powerful engines of global economic growth over the past decade.  The economist who first named these diverse emerging economies the "BRIC" nations, says their growth will continue, and may spread to some other emerging economies.

Leaders of the BRICS are gathering in India on March 28 for a summit that one expert says will "make or break" their efforts to build political clout to match their economic power.

Brazil and three other large developing nations caught the atttention of a Goldman Sachs economists more than a decade ago, prompting him to preeict they had the key ingredients for powerful economic growth.

These so-called BIRC nations - Russia, India and China are the others - are now joined by South Africa.

That Goldman Sachs economist, Jim O’Neill, says the BRICS grew even faster than he expected.  He says they far outpaced the rate of expansion in Europe and the United States.

"These guys [nations] have come to be the marginal, critical player of virtually everything in the world economy," he said.  "They were not so important collectively, and other than China, hardly relevant individually; today they are nearly 25 percent of global GDP about 10 percent more than I thought would have been likely 11 years ago."

While the rate of growth is slowing in China and Brazil, O’Neill says BRIC expansion is nowhere near finished.

The head of a company that operates more than 37,000 restaurants in 117 nations, David Novak agrees.  His firm runs Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants around the globe.

"Look at China for example. There are 300 million people in the consuming class in China. Most experts say in eight years it will be 600 million," Novak said.  "So there is a tremendous tail wind just in terms of population growth in these countries."

Novak says his company is also placing "big bets" on India and Russia, while working to expand in Brazil, Vietnam and some African nations, even though some other analysts say there may be faster economic growth in smaller emerging nations like Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey.

While BRIC countries have the respect and attention of business leaders, the co-director of the BRICS Research Group, University of Toronto Professor John Kirton, says these major emerging nations want to convert their economic gains into greater political influence.

"This is really a wake-up call for the West and Japan," he said.  "I think we will see from Delhi, this is not just an idle threat."

Kirton says the BRICS are fed up with Europeans and Americans always taking the top post at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.  He says the major emerging nations have the financial clout to start their own global financial institutions and pick a new generation of leaders.

Skeptics say the BRICS may share skills in manufacturing and exporting, but are so diverse in culture, language and politics that it will be difficult for them to unite and form effective international institutions.  But Kirton says they are united by their annoyance at an established order that gives them too little respect.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs