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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs