The Impact of BRICs on the Economy
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Published: Mon, 12 Jun 2017
Goldman Sachs did not argue that the BRICs would organize themselves into an economic bloc, or a formal trading association, as the European Union has done.However, there are some indications that the “four BRIC countries have been seeking to form a ‘political club’ or ‘alliance'”, and thereby converting “their growing economic power into greater geopolitical clout”. On June 16, 2009, the leaders of the BRIC countries held their first summit in Yekaterinburg, and issued a declaration calling for the establishment of a multipolar world order
Goldman Sachs argued that, since they are developing rapidly, by 2050 the combined economies of the BRICs could eclipse the combined economies of the current richest countries of the world. The four countries, combined, currently account for more than a quarter of the world’s land area and more than 40% of the world’s population.
In the aftermath of the summit the BRIC nations suggested that there was a need for a new global reserve currency that is ‘diversified, stable and predictable’. The statement that was released stopped short of making a direct attack on the perceived ‘dominance’ of the US dollar, something which the Russians have been critical of; however, it still led to a fall in the value of the dollar against other major currencies.
A criticism is that the BRIC projections are based on the assumptions that resources are limitless and endlessly available when needed. In reality, many important resources currently necessary to sustain economic growth, such as oil, natural gas, coal, other fossil fuels, and uranium might soon experience a peak in production before enough renewable energy can be developed and commercialized, which might result in slower economic growth than anticipated, thus throwing off the projections and their dates. The economic emergence of the BRICs will have unpredictable consequences for the global environment. Indeed, proponents of a set carrying capacity for the Earth may argue that, given current technology, there is a finite limit to how much the BRICs can develop before exceeding the ability of the global economy to supply.
Academics and experts have suggested that China is in a league of its own compared to the other BRIC countries. As David Rothkopf wrote in Foreign Policy, “Without China, the BRICs are just the BRI, a bland, soft cheese that is primarily known for the wine that goes with it. China is the muscle of the group and the Chinese know it. They have effective veto power over any BRIC initiatives because without them, who cares really? They are the one with the big reserves. They are the biggest potential market. They are the U.S. partner in the G2 (imagine the coverage a G2 meeting gets vs. a G8 meeting) and the E2 (no climate deal without them) and so on.” Deutsche Bank Research said in a report that “economically, financially and politically, China overshadows and will continue to overshadow the other BRICs.” It added that China’s economy is larger than that of the three other BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia and India) combined. Moreover, China’s exports and its official forex reserve holdings are more than twice as large as those of the other BRICs combined.
Another criticism is the understatement of GDP growth in China over the next 45 years; which predicts growth falling far below normal development. This contradicts the rapid economic growth that has already taken place in the country and the experience of countries like South Korea catching up with western GDP per capita, which China has been growing faster than in a similar period of development.
There are many uncertainties and assumptions in the BRIC thesis that could mean that any or all of these four countries will not live up to their promise. The preeminence of China and India as major manufacturing countries with unrealised potential has been widely recognised, but some commentators state that China’s and Russia’s large-scale disregard for human rights and democracy could be a problem in the future. Human rights issues do not inform the foreign policies of these two countries to the same extent as they do the policies of other large states such as Japan, India, the EU states and the USA. There is also the possibility of conflict over Taiwan in the case of China and smaller democracies that lie in the vicinity of these two authoritarian giants will no doubt be affected by human rights issues being relegated to a lower global priority.
There is also the issue of population growth. The population of Russia is beginning to shrink fast. Brazil’s and China’s populations will begin to decline in several decades, with their demographic windows closing in several decades as well. This may have implications for those countries’ future, for there might be a decrease in the overall labor force and a negative change in the proportion of workers to retirees.
Brazil’s economic potential has been anticipated for decades, but it had until recently consistently failed to achieve investor expectations. Only in recent years has the country established a framework of political, economic, and social policies that allowed it to resume consistent growth. The result has been solid and paced economic development that rival its early 70’s “miracle years”, as reflected in its expanding capital markets, lowest unemployment rates in decades, and consistent international trade surpluses – that led to the accumulation of reserves and liquidation of foreign debt (earning the country a coveted investment grade by the S&P and Fitch Ratings in 2008).
Finally, India’s relations with its neighbor Pakistan have always been tense. In 1998, there was a nuclear standoff between Pakistan and India.Border conflicts with Pakistan, mostly over the longheld dispute over Kashmir, has further aggravated any economic ties. The BRIC countries have enormous populations of extremely impoverished people. This impedes progress by limiting government finances, increasing social unrest, and limiting potential domestic economic demand. Factors such as international conflict, civil unrest, unwise political policy, outbreaks of disease and terrorism are all factors that are difficult to predict and that could have an effect on the destiny of any country.
Other critics suggest that BRIC is nothing more than a neat acronym for the four largest emerging market economies, but in economic and political terms nothing else (apart from the fact that they are all big emerging markets) links the four. Two are manufacturing based economies and big importers (China and India), but two are huge exporters of natural resources (Brazil and Russia). The Economist, in its special report on Brazil, expressed the following view: “In some ways Brazil is the steadiest of the BRICs. Unlike China and Russia it is a full-blooded democracy; unlike India it has no serious disputes with its neighbors. It is the only BRIC without a nuclear bomb.” The Heritage Foundation’s “Economic Freedom Index”, which measures factors such as protection of property rights and free trade ranks Brazil (“moderately free”) above the other BRICs (“mostly unfree”).
It is also noticed that BRIC countries have undermined qualitative factors that is reflected in deterioration in Doing Business ranking 2010 and other several human indexes.
In a not-so-subtle dig critical of the term as nothing more than a shorthand for emerging markets generally, critics have suggested a correlating term, CEMENT (Countries in Emerging Markets Excluded by New Terminology). Whilst they accept there has been spectacular growth of the BRIC economies, these gains have largely been the result of the strength of emerging markets generally, and that strength comes through having BRICs and CEMENT.
BRIC in itself is an formal forum created by the top 4 emerging economies of the world with one of the highest GDPs-nominal and PPP in the world. This forum is primarily for regional ,economical and financial cooperation and to free the world economy from american subjugation.
G-20 is an informal forum to discuss matters pertaining to International Financial system and seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organization but lacks the basic element of cooperation.
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