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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora