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Brazil, Russia, India, and China
Map of BRIC countries


President (head of state and government): Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
President (head of state): Dmitry Medvedev
Prime Minister (head of government): Vladimir Putin
President (head of state): Pratibha Patil
Prime Minister (head of government): Manmohan Singh
President (head of state): Hu Jintao
Premier (head of government): Wen Jiabao

In economics, BRIC (typically rendered as "the BRICs" or "the BRIC countries") is a grouping acronym that refers to the related economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

The acronym was prominently used by Jim O'Neill[1] of Goldman Sachs in 2001.[1][2] According to a paper published in 2005, Mexico and South Korea are the only other countries comparable to the BRICs, but their economies were excluded initially because they were considered already more developed[3]. 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.[4][5] 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.[6] 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".[7][8] 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.[9]


The BRIC thesis

Goldman Sachs argues that the economic potential of Brazil, Russia, India, and China is such that they could become among the four most dominant economies by the year 2050. The thesis was proposed by Jim O'Neill, global economist at Goldman Sachs.[10] These countries encompass over 25% of the world's land coverage and 40% of the world's population and hold a combined GDP (PPP) of 15.435 trillion dollars. On almost every scale, they would be the largest entity on the global stage. These four countries are among the biggest and fastest growing emerging markets.[citation needed]

However, it is not the intent of Goldman Sachs to argue that these four countries are a political alliance (such as the European Union) or any formal trading association, like ASEAN. Nevertheless, they have taken steps to increase their political cooperation, mainly as a way of influencing the United States position on major trade accords, or, through the implicit threat of political cooperation, as a way of extracting political concessions from the United States, such as the proposed nuclear cooperation with India.[citation needed]


(2003) Dreaming with BRICs: The Path to 2050

The BRIC thesis[11] (defended in the paper Dreaming with BRICs: The Path to 2050) recognizes that Brazil, Russia, India and China[12] have changed their political systems to embrace global capitalism. Goldman Sachs predicts China and India, respectively, to be the dominant global suppliers of manufactured goods and services while Brazil and Russia would become similarly dominant as suppliers of raw materials. Cooperation is thus hypothesized to be a logical next step among the BRICs because Brazil and Russia together form the logical commodity suppliers to India and China. Thus, the BRICs have the potential to form a powerful economic bloc to the exclusion of the modern-day states currently of "Group of Eight" status. Brazil is dominant in soy and iron ore while Russia has enormous supplies of oil and natural gas. Goldman Sachs' thesis thus documents how commodities, work, technology, and companies have diffused outward from the United States across the world.

Following the end of the Cold War or even before, the governments comprising BRIC all initiated economic or political reforms to allow their countries to enter the world economy. In order to compete, these countries have simultaneously stressed education, foreign investment, domestic consumption, and domestic entrepreneurship.

(2004) Follow-up report

The Goldman Sachs global economics team released a follow-up report to its initial BRIC study in 2004.[13] The report states that in BRIC nations, the number of people with an annual income over a threshold of $3,000, will double in number within three years and reach 800 million people within a decade. This predicts a massive rise in the size of the middle class in these nations. In 2025, it is calculated that the number of people in BRIC nations earning over $15,000 may reach over 200 million. This indicates that a huge pickup in demand will not be restricted to basic goods but impact higher-priced goods as well. According to the report, first China and then a decade later India will begin to dominate the world economy.

Yet despite the balance of growth, swinging so decisively towards the BRIC economies, the average wealth level of individuals in the more advanced economies will continue to far outstrip the BRIC economy average. Goldman Sachs estimates that by 2025 the income per capita in the six most populous EU countries will exceed $35,000, whereas only about 500 million people in the BRIC economies will have similar income levels.

The report also highlights India's great inefficiency in energy use and mentions the dramatic under-representation of these economies in the global capital markets. The report also emphasizes the enormous populations that exist within the BRIC nations, which makes it relatively easy for their aggregate wealth to eclipse the G6, while per-capita income levels remain far below the norm of today's industrialized countries. This phenomenon, too, will affect world markets as multinational corporations will attempt to take advantage of the enormous potential markets in the BRICs by producing, for example, far cheaper automobiles and other manufactured goods affordable to the consumers within the BRICs in lieu of the luxury models that currently bring the most income to automobile manufacturers. India and China have already started making their presence felt in the service and manufacturing sector respectively in the global arena. Developed economies of the world have already taken serious note of this fact.

A Goldman Sachs paper published later in December 2005 explained why Mexico and South Korea were not included in the original BRICs. According to the paper,[3] among the other countries they looked at, only Mexico and South Korea have the potential to rival the BRICs, but they are economies that they decided to exclude initially because they looked at them as already more developed.

(2007) Second Follow-up report

This report compiled by lead authors Tushar Poddar and Eva Yi gives insight into "India's Rising Growth Potential". It reveals updated projection figures attributed to the rising growth trends in India over the last four years. Goldman Sachs assert that "India's influence on the world economy will be bigger and quicker than implied in our previously published BRICs research". They noted significant areas of research and development, and expansion that is happening in the country, which will lead to the prosperity of the growing middle-class.[14]

"India has 10 of the 30 fastest-growing urban areas in the world and, based on current trends, we estimate a massive 700 million people will move to cities by 2050. This will have significant implications for demand for urban infrastructure, real estate, and services."[14]

In the revised 2007 figures, based on increased and sustaining growth, more inflows into foreign direct investment, Goldman Sachs predicts that "from 2007 to 2020, India's GDP per capita in US$ terms will quadruple", and that the Indian economy will surpass the United States (in US$) by 2050.[14] It states that the four nations as a group will overtake the G7 in 2032.[14]

The BRIC numbers

The Economist publishes an annual table of social and economic national statistics in its Pocket World in Figures.[citation needed] Extrapolating the global rankings from their 2008 Edition for the BRIC countries and economies in relation to various categories provides an interesting touchstone in relation to the economic underpinnings of the BRIC thesis. It also illustrates how, despite their divergent economic bases, the economic indicators are remarkably similar in global rankings between the different economies. It also suggests that, while economic arguments can be made for linking Mexico into the BRIC thesis, the case for including South Korea looks considerably weaker. A Goldman Sachs paper published later in December 2005 explained why Mexico wasn't included in the original BRICs. According to the paper,[3] among the other countries they looked at, only Mexico and perhaps Korea have the potential to rival the BRICs, but they are economies that they decided to exclude initially because they looked at them as already more developed. According to that paper, Mexico becomes the fifth-largest economy by 2050, ahead of Russia.

Global giants

Painting BRIC by numbers
Categories  Brazil  Russia  India  China
Area 5th 1st 7th 3rd
Population 5th 9th 2nd 1st
Population growth rate 107th 221th 90th 156th
Labour force 5th 6th 2nd 1st
GDP (nominal) 10th 8th 12th 3rd
GDP (PPP) 9th 6th 4th 2nd
GDP (nominal) per capita 63rd 52nd 143rd 104th
GDP (PPP) per capita 77th 52nd 130th 100th
GDP (real) growth rate 81st 69th 28th 16th
Human Development Index 75th 71st 134th 92nd
Exports 21st 11th 23rd 1st
Imports 27th 17th 16th 2nd
Current account balance 47th 5th 169th 1st
Received FDI 11th 12th 29th 5th
Foreign exchange reserves 7th 3rd 5th 1st
External debt 24th 20th 27th 19th
Public debt 47th 117th 29th 98th
Electricity consumption 10th 3rd 7th 2nd
Number of mobile phones 5th 4th 2nd 1st
Number of internet users 5th 11th 4th 1st
Motor vehicle production 6th 12th 9th 2nd
Military expenditures 14th 8th 9th 2nd
Active troops 14th 5th 3rd 1st
Cultivated land 5th 4th 2nd 3rd
Forest area 2nd 1st 10th 5th
Waterways length 3rd 2nd 9th 1st
Rail network 10th 2nd 4th 3rd
Road network 4th 8th 3rd 2nd

BRIC in future

The list of the top 22 countries by nominal GDP from year 2006 to 2050. The bottom chart list are the top 22 countries by nominal GDP per capita (the rankings for this bottom chart do not reflect the GDP per capita for all the world's countries). BRIC countries are highlighted and labeled in bold.These figures are from a 2007 report and does not reflect that the current status of certain countries have changed dramatically with unprecedented debt levels.

Gross Domestic Product (nominal) [2006-2050] (in US$ billions)[15]
Rank Country 2006 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050
1  United States 13,245 14,535 16,194 17,978 20,087 22,817 26,097 29,823 33,904 38,514
2  Japan 4,336 4,604 4,861 5,224 5,570 5,814 5,886 6,042 6,300 6,677
3  Germany 2,851 3,083 3,326 3,519 3,631 3,761 4,048 4,388 4,714 5,024
4  China 2,682 4,667 8,133 12,630 18,437 25,610 34,348 45,022 57,310 70,710
5  United Kingdom 2,310 2,546 2,835 3,101 3,333 3,595 3,937 4,344 4,744 5,133
6  France 2,194 2,366 2,577 2,815 3,055 3,306 3,567 3,892 4,227 4,592
7  Italy 1,809 1,914 2,072 2,224 2,326 2,391 2,444 2,559 2,737 2,950
8  Canada 1,260 1,389 1,549 1,700 1,856 2,061 2,302 2,569 2,849 3,149
9  Brazil 1,064 1,346 1,720 2,194 2,831 3,720 4,963 6,631 8,740 11,366
10  Russia 982 1,371 1,900 2,554 3,341 4,265 5,265 6,320 7,420 8,580
11  India 909 1,256 1,900 2,848 4,316 6,683 10,514 16,510 25,278 37,668
12  South Korea 887 1,071 1,305 1,508 1,861 2,241 2,644 3,089 3,562 4,083
13  Mexico 851 1,009 1,327 1,742 2,303 3,068 4,102 5,471 7,204 9,340
14  Turkey 390 440 572 740 965 1,279 1,716 2,300 3,033 3,943
15  Indonesia 350 419 562 752 1,033 1,479 2,192 3,286 4,846 7,010
16  Iran 245 312 415 544 716 953 1,273 1,673 2,133 2,663
17  Pakistan 129 161 206 268 359 497 709 1,026 1,472 2,085
18  Nigeria 121 158 218 306 445 680 1,083 1,765 2,870 4,640
19  Philippines 117 162 215 289 400 582 882 1,353 2,040 3,010
20  Egypt 101 129 171 229 318 467 718 1,124 1,728 2,602
21  Bangladesh 63 81 110 150 210 304 451 676 1,001 1,466
22  Vietnam 55 88 157 273 458 745 1,169 1,768 2,569 3,607
The five largest economies in the world in 2050, measured in GDP nominal (millions of USD), according to Goldman Sachs.[15]
Gross Domestic Product per capita (nominal) [2006-2050][15]
Rank Country 2006 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050
1  United States 44,379 47,014 50,200 53,502 57,446 62,717 69,019 76,044 83,489 91,683
2  United Kingdom 38,108 41,543 45,591 49,173 52,220 55,904 61,049 67,391 73,807 80,234
3  Canada 38,071 40,541 43,449 45,961 48,621 52,663 57,728 63,464 69,531 76,002
4  France 36,045 38,380 41,332 44,811 48,429 52,327 56,562 62,136 68,252 75,253
5  Germany 34,588 37,474 40,589 43,223 45,033 47,263 51,710 57,118 62,658 68,253
6  Japan 34,021 36,194 38,650 42,385 46,419 49,975 52,345 55,756 60,492 66,846
7  Italy 31,123 32,948 35,908 38,990 41,358 43,195 44,948 48,070 52,760 58,545
8  South Korea 18,161 21,602 26,012 29,868 36,813 44,602 53,449 63,924 75,979 90,294
9  Mexico 7,918 8,972 11,176 13,979 17,685 22,694 29,417 38,255 49,393 63,149
10  Russia 6,909 9,833 13,971 19,311 26,061 34,368 43,800 54,221 65,708 78,576
11  Brazil 5,657 6,882 8,427 10,375 12,996 16,694 21,924 29,026 38,149 49,759
12  Turkey 5,545 6,005 7,460 9,291 11,743 15,188 20,046 26,602 34,971 45,595
13  Iran 3,768 4,652 5,888 7,345 9,328 12,139 15,979 20,746 26,231 32,676
14  China 2,041 3,463 5,837 8,829 12,688 17,522 23,511 30,951 39,719 49,650
15  Indonesia 1,508 1,724 2,197 2,813 3,711 5,123 7,365 10,784 15,642 22,395
16  Philippines 1,312 1,688 2,075 2,591 3,372 4,635 6,678 9,815 14,260 20,388
17  Egypt 1,281 1,531 1,880 2,352 3,080 4,287 6,287 9,443 14,025 20,500
18  Nigeria 919 1,087 1,332 1,665 2,161 2,944 4,191 6,117 8,934 13,014
19  India 817 1,061 1,492 2,091 2,979 4,360 6,524 9,802 14,446 20,836
20  Pakistan 778 897 1,050 1,260 1,568 2,035 2,744 3,775 5,183 7,066
21  Vietnam 655 1,001 1,707 2,834 4,583 7,245 11,148 16,623 23,932 33,472
22  Bangladesh 427 510 627 790 1,027 1,384 1,917 2,698 3,767 5,235

BRIC Summit

Leaders at the 1st BRIC summit. From left are: President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil; President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia; President Hu Jintao of China, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India.

The BRIC countries met for their first official summit on 16 June 2009, in Yekaterinburg, Russia,[16] with Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Dmitry Medvedev, Manmohan Singh, and Hu Jintao, the respective leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China, all attending.[17] The core focus of the summit was related to improving the current global economic situation and discussing how the four countries can better work together in the future, as well as a more general push to reform financial institutions.[16][17] There was also discussion surrounding how developing nations, such as those members of BRIC, could be better involved in global affairs in the future.[17] 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'.[18] 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.[19]

The foreign ministers of the BRIC countries had met previously on May 16, 2008 also in Yekaterinburg.[20]

One week prior to the summit, Brazil offered $10 billion to the International Monetary Fund.[21] It was the first time that the country had ever made such a loan.[21] Brazil had previously received loans from the IMF and this announcement was treated as a significant demonstration of how Brazil's economic position had changed.[21] China also announced plans to invest a total of $50.1 billion and Russia planned to invest $10 billion.[21]

Date Host country Host leader Location held
1st June 16, 2009  Russia Dmitry Medvedev Yekaterinburg
2nd April 16, 2010  Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Brasília

The BRIC term

The BRIC leaders in 2008

Various sources (see external links below) refer to a purported "original" BRIC agreement that predates the Goldman Sachs thesis. Some of these sources claim that President Vladimir Putin of Russia was the driving force behind this original cooperative coalition of developing BRIC countries. However, thus far, no text has been made public of any formal agreement to which all four BRIC states are signatories. This does not mean, however, that they have not reached a multitude of bilateral or even trilateral agreements. Evidence of agreements of this type are abundant and are available on the foreign ministry websites of each of the four countries. Trilateral agreements and frameworks made among the BRICs include the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (member states include Russia and China, associate members include India) and the IBSA Trilateral Forum, which unites Brazil, India, and South Africa in annual dialogues. Also important to note is the G-20 coalition of developing states which includes all the BRICs.

Also, because of the popularity of the Goldman Sachs thesis "BRIC", this term has sometimes been extended whereby "BRICK"[22][23] (K for South Korea), "BRIMC"[24][25] (M for Mexico), "BRICA" (GCC Arab countries – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates)[26] and "BRICET" (including Eastern Europe and Turkey)[27] have become more generic marketing terms to refer to these emerging markets.


The BM&F Bovespa, São Paulo's Stock Exchange is the fifth largest in the world.

The BRIC term is also used by companies who refer to the four named countries as key to their emerging markets strategies. By comparison the reduced acronym IC would not be attractive, although the term "Chindia" is often used. The BRIC's study specifically focuses on large countries, not necessarily the wealthiest or the most productive and was never intended to be an investment thesis. If investors read the Goldman's research carefully, and agreed with the conclusions, then they would gain exposure to Asian debt and equity markets rather than to Latin America. According to estimates provided by the USDA, the wealthiest regions outside of the G6 in 2015 will be Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore. Combined with China and India, these five economies are likely to be the world's five most influential economies outside of the G6.

On the other hand, when the "R" in BRIC is extended beyond Russia and is used as a loose term to include all of Eastern Europe as well, then the BRIC story becomes more compelling. At issue are the multiple serious problems which confront Russia (potentially unstable government, environmental degradation, critical lack of modern infrastructure, etc[citation needed]), and the comparatively much lower growth rate seen in Brazil. However, Brazil's lower growth rate obscures the fact that the country is wealthier than China or India on a per-capita basis, has a more developed and global integrated financial system and has an economy potentially more diverse than the other BRICs due to its raw material and manufacturing potential. Many other Eastern European countries, such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and several others were able to continually sustain high economic growth rates and do not experience some of the problems that Russia experiences or experience them to a lesser extent. In terms of GDP per capita in 2008, Brazil ranked 64th, Russia 42nd, India 113th and China 89th. By comparison South Korea ranked 24th and Singapore 3rd.

Brazil's stock market, the Bovespa, has gone from approximately 9,000 in September 2002 to over 70,000 in May 2008. Government policies have favored investment (lowering interest rates), retiring foreign debt and expanding growth, and a reformulation of the tax system is being voted in the congress. The British author and researcher Mark Kobayashi-Hillary is editing a new book titled 'Building a Future with BRICs' for European publisher Springer Verlag that examines the growth of the BRICs region and its effect on global sourcing. Contributors to the book include Nandan Nilekani, and Shiv Nadar, with publication scheduled for October 2007.


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.[28] 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 whine 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."[29] 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.[30]

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.[citation needed] 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 disregard for human rights and democracy could be a problem in the future, as is the possibility of conflict over Taiwan in the case of China. Likewise, the population of Russia is steadily aging, and Brazil's and China's populations will begin to decline in several decades[citation needed], and 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). How long such positive factors will stay in place remains to be seen.

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").[31]

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.[32]


Mexico and South Korea are currently the world's 13th and 15th largest by nominal GDP,[33] just behind the BRIC and G7 economies, while both are experiencing rapid GDP growth of 5% every year, a figure comparable to Brazil from the original BRICs. Jim O'Neill, expert from the same bank and creator of the economic thesis, stated that in 2001 when the paper was created, it did not consider Mexico, but today it has been included because the country is experiencing the same factors that the other countries first included present.[24][25] While South Korea was not originally included in the BRICs, recent solid economic growth led to Goldman Sachs proposing to add Mexico and South Korea to the BRICs, changing the acronym to BRIMCK, with Jim O'Neill pointing out that Korea "is better placed than most others to realize its potential due to its growth-supportive fundamentals.[34]

A Goldman Sachs paper published later in December 2005 explained why Mexico and South Korea weren't included in the original BRICs. According to the paper,[3] among the other countries they looked at, only Mexico and South Korea have the potential to rival the BRICs, but they are economies that they decided to exclude initially because they looked at them as already more developed. However, due to the popularity of the Goldman Sachs thesis, "BRIMC" and "BRICK" are becoming more generic marketing terms to refer to these six countries.

In their paper "BRICs and Beyond", Goldman Sachs stated that "Mexico, the four BRIC countries and South Korea should not be really thought of as emerging markets in the classical sense", adding that they are a "critical part of the modern globalised economy" and "just as central to its functioning as the current G7".[35]

The term is primarily used in the economic and financial spheres as well as in academia. Its usage has grown specially in the investment sector, where it is used to refer to the bonds emitted by these emerging markets governments.[36][37][38]


Primarily, along with the BRICs,[39] Goldman Sachs argues that the economic potential of Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico and China is such that they may become (with the USA) the six most dominant economies by the year 2050. The thesis was proposed by Jim O'Neill, global economist at Goldman Sachs. These countries are forecast to encompass over forty percent of the world's population and hold a combined GDP (PPP) of 14.951 trillion dollars. On almost every scale, they would be the largest entity on the global stage. However, it is important to note that it is not the intent of Goldman Sachs to argue that these five countries are a political alliance (such as the European Union) or any formal trading association, like ASEAN. Nevertheless, they have taken steps to increase their political cooperation, mainly as a way of influencing the United States position on major trade accords, or, through the implicit threat of political cooperation, as a way of extracting political concessions from the United States, such as the proposed nuclear cooperation with India. Due to Mexico's rapidly advancing infrastructure, increasing middle class and rapidly declining poverty rates it is expected to have a higher GDP per capita than all but three European countries by 2050, this new found local wealth also contributes to the nations economy by creating a large domestic consumer market which in turn creates more jobs. The main reason that Mexico was not initially included into the BRIC thesis was because it was already considered a major economy and a significant global power due mainly to its high oil output and advanced industries[3].

South Korea & United Korea

Despite being a developed country, South Korea has been growing at a speed comparable to Brazil and Mexico. More importantly, it has a significantly higher Growth Environment Score (Goldman Sachs' way of measuring the long-term sustainability of growth) than all of the BRICs or N-11s.[35] Commentators such as William Pesek Jr. from Bloomberg argue that Korea is "Another 'BRIC' in Global Wall", suggesting that it stands out from the Next Eleven economies (N-11). South Korea will overtake Canada by 2025 and Italy by 2035 according to their paper "The N-11: More Than an Acronym".[40] Economists from other investment firms argue that Korea will have a GDP per capita of over $90,000 by 2050, virtually identical to the United States and the second highest among the G7, BRIC and N-11 economies, suggesting that wealth is more important than size for bond investors, stating that Korea's credit rating will be rated AAA sooner than 2050.[41]

Korea in 2050[42]
Korea United Korea  South Korea  North Korea
GDP in USD $6.056 trillion $4.073 trillion $1.982 trillion
GDP per capita $86,000 $96,000 $70,000
GDP growth (2010–2050) 4.1% 3.3% 12.4%
Total population 71 million 42 million 28 million

In September 2009, Goldman Sachs published its 188th Global Economics Paper named "A United Korea?" which highlighted in detail the potential economic power of a United Korea, which will surpass all current G7 countries except the United States, such as Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany and France within 30–40 years of reunification, estimating GDP to surpass $6 trillion by 2050.[43] Cheap, skilled labor from the North combined with advanced technology and infrastructure in the South, as well as Korea's strategic location connecting three economic powers, is likely going to create an economy larger than the bulk of the G7. According to some opinions, a reunited Korea could occur before 2050,[43] or even between 2010-2020[44]. If it occurred, Korean reunification would immediately raise the country's population to over 70 million.

See also


  1. ^ Specifically, Jim O'Neill, head of global economic research at Global Economics Paper No. 99, Dreaming with BRICs and Global Economics Paper 134, How Solid Are the BRICs?
  2. ^ Economist's Another BRIC in the wall 2008 article
  3. ^ a b c d e "How Solid are the BRICs?" (PDF). Global Economics. Retrieved 2008-07-18. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Brazil, Russia, India And China (BRIC)". Investopedia. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  7. ^ BRICs helped by Western finance crisis: Goldman | Reuters
  8. ^ Russia shows its political clout by hosting Bric summit - Times Online
  9. ^ Halpin, Tony (2009-06-17). "Brazil, Russia, India and China form bloc to challenge US dominance". The Times, 17 June 2009. Retrieved from
  10. ^ Ask the expert: BRICs and investor strategy from the Financial Times, Monday 2006-11-06 09:55
  11. ^ Goldman Sachs | Ideas
  12. ^ Five Years of China's WTO Membership. EU and US Perspectives on China's Compliance with Transparency Commitments and the Transitional Review Mechanism, Legal Issues of Economic Integration, Kluwer Law International, Volume 33, Number 3, pp. 263-304, 2006. by Paolo Farah
  13. ^ BRICs - Goldman Sachs Research Report
  14. ^ a b c d "India's Rising Growth Potential"
  15. ^ a b c "The N-11: More Than an Acronym" - Goldman Sachs study of N11 nations, Global Economics Paper No: 153, March 28, 2007.
  16. ^ a b "First summit for emerging giants". BBC News. 2009-06-16. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  17. ^ a b c "BRIC demands more clout, steers clear of dollar talk". Reuters. 2009-06-26. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  18. ^ "BRIC wants more influence". Euronews. 2009-06-16. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  19. ^ "Dollar slides after Russia comments, BRIC summit". Guardian. 2009-06-16. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b c d "Brazil to make $10bn loan to IMF". BBC News. 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  22. ^ The Australian Business - Emerging markets put China, India in the shade
  23. ^ Martens, China, "IBM Targets Russian Developers: Could overtake India, China in number of developers, says senior executive", OutSourcing World, February 11, 2006
  24. ^ a b Le Figaro, newspaper, interview with expert Jim 0'Neill (French)
  25. ^ a b United Nations University
  26. ^ Study: Energy-rich Arab countries are next emerging market
  27. ^ Welcome to Huaye Iron&Steel Group
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ Land of promise |
  32. ^ / FTfm - Emerging Markets: Brics sceptics have their backs to the wall
  33. ^ See List of countries by GDP (nominal)
  34. ^
  35. ^ a b
  36. ^ Correio Da Manha, newspaper
  37. ^ Business Standard, "Emerging risk and return"
  38. ^ Company News Group, "L'oreal, first quarter sales report"
  39. ^ BRIC thesis Goldman Sachs Investment Bank, "BRIC"
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ Global Economics Paper No: 188 "A United Korea?"
  43. ^ a b
  44. ^;jsessionid=K36VDgFSyTx9vss1nX4vdpmg0CTFF1BZQ2bqG7BWyZ6PgPW1jhQp!569835819!-1334397701?docId=5002508142


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