Brazil, Russia, India, China
Map of BRIC countries


Federative Republic of Brazil
President (head of state and government): Dilma Rousseff
Russian Federation
President (head of state): Dmitry Medvedev
Prime Minister (head of government): Vladimir Putin
Republic of India
President (head of state): Pratibha Patil
Prime Minister (head of government): Manmohan Singh
People's Republic of China
President (head of state): Hu Jintao
Premier (head of government): Wen Jiabao

In economics, BRIC is a grouping acronym that refers to the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, which are all deemed to be at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development. It is typically rendered as "the BRICs" or "the BRIC countries" or the BRIC economies" or alternatively as the "Big Four".

The acronym was coined by Jim O'Neill in a 2001 paper entitled "Building Better Global Economic BRICs".[1][2][3] The acronym has come into widespread use as a symbol of the shift in global economic power away from the developed G7 economies towards the developing world. It is estimated that BRIC economies will overtake G7 economies by 2027.[4]

According to a paper published in 2005, Mexico and South Korea were the only other countries comparable to the BRICs, but their economies were excluded initially because they were considered already more developed, as they were already members of the OECD.[5]

Several of the more developed of the N-11 countries, in particular Turkey, Mexico, Nigeria and Indonesia, are seen as the most likely contenders to join the BRICs. Some other developing countries that have not yet reached the N-11 economic level, such as South Africa, aspire to BRIC status. Economists at the Reuters 2011 Investment Outlook Summit, held on 6–7 December 2010, dismissed the notion of South Africa joining BRIC.[6] Jim O'Neill told the summit that he was constantly being lobbied about BRIC status by various countries. He said that South Africa, at a population of under 50 million people, was just too small an economy to join the BRIC ranks.[7] However, after the BRIC countries formed a political organization among themselves, they later expanded to include South Africa, becoming the BRICS.[8]

Goldman Sachs has argued that, since the four BRIC countries are developing rapidly, by 2050 their combined economies could eclipse the combined economies of the current richest countries of the world. These 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.[9][10]

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.[11] 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".[12][13] 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 an equitable, democratic and multipolar world order. Since then they have met in Brasília in 2010 and met in Sanya in 2011.[14]



São Paulo, Brazil
Moscow, Russia
Mumbai, India
Shanghai, China

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.[15] 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 18.486 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 recognizes that Brazil, Russia, India and China[16] have changed their political systems to embrace global capitalism. Goldman Sachs predicts that China and India, respectively, will become the dominant global suppliers of manufactured goods and services, while Brazil and Russia will become similarly dominant as suppliers of raw materials. It should be noted that of the four countries, Brazil remains the only nation that has the capacity to continue all elements, meaning manufacturing, services, and resource supplying simultaneously. 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.[17] 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 economic average.

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.

(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.[18]

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.

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 2043.[18] Despite its present low Nominal real GDP Per Capita levels, India is now aiming to go past $ 4,500 threshold by 2020 & thereby achieving Upper-Middle Income country status. Many analysts predicts that India would emerge as a high-income economy during 2025-30.

(2010) EM Equity in Two Decades: A Changing Landscape

According to a 2010 report from Goldman Sachs, China might surpass the US in equity market capitalization terms by 2030 and become the single largest equity market in the world[19]. By 2020, America's GDP might be only slightly larger than China's GDP. Together, the four BRICs may account for 41% of the world's market capitalization by 2030, the report said.[20]

In late 2010, China surpassed Japan's GDP for the first time, with China's GDP standing at $5.88 trillion compared to Japan's $5.47 trillion. China thus became the world's second-largest economy after the United States.[21]

Based on a Forbes report released in March 2011, the BRIC countries numbered 301 billionaires among their combined populations, exceeding the number of billionaires in Europe, which stood at 300 in 2011.[22]


Proportion of world (countries with data) nominal GDP for the countries with the top 10 highest nominal GDP in 2010, from 1980 to 2010 with IMF projections until 2016. Countries marked with an asterisk are non-G8 countries China, Brazil and India. Grey lines show actual US dollar values.[23]

The Economist publishes an annual table of socio-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 was not included in the original BRICs.[5]

Categories Brazil Russia India China
Area 005th 001st 007th 003rd
Population 005th 009th 002nd 001st
Population growth rate 107th 221st 090th 156th
Labour force 005th 007th 002nd 001st
GDP (nominal) 008th 011th 09th 002nd
GDP (PPP) 007th 006th 004th 002nd
GDP (nominal) per capita 055th 054th 137th 095th
GDP (PPP) per capita 071st 051st 127th 093rd
GDP (real) growth rate 015th 088th 006th 005th
Human Development Index 073rd 065th 119th 089th
Exports 018th 011th 016th 001st
Imports 020th 017th 011th 002nd
Current account balance 047th 005th 169th 001st
Received FDI 011th 012th 029th 005th
Foreign exchange reserves 007th 003rd 006th 001st
External debt 028th 024th 026th 023rd
Public debt 047th 122nd 029th 098th
Electricity consumption 009th 004th 005th 002nd
Number of mobile phones 005th 004th 002nd 001st
Number of internet users 005th 007th 004th 001st
Motor vehicle production 006th 019th 007th 001st
Military expenditures 012th 005th 010th 002nd
Active troops 014th 005th 003rd 001st
Rail network 010th 002nd 004th 003rd
Road network 004th 008th 003rd 002nd
The ten largest economies in the world in 2050, measured in GDP nominal (billions of USD), according to Goldman Sachs[24]
Gross Domestic Product in 2006 US$ billions[24]
Rank 2050 Country 2050 2045 2040 2035 2030 2025 2020 2015 2010 2006
1 China 70,710 57,310 45,022 34,348 25,610 18,437 12,630 8,133 4,667 2,682
2 United States 38,514 33,904 29,823 26,097 22,817 20,087 17,978 16,194 14,535 13,245
3 India 37,668 25,278 16,510 10,514 6,683 4,316 2,848 1,900 1,256 909
4 Brazil 11,366 8,740 6,631 4,963 3,720 2,831 2,194 1,720 1,346 1,064
5 Mexico 9,340 7,204 5,471 4,102 3,068 2,303 1,742 1,327 1,009 851
6 Russia 8,580 7,420 6,320 5,265 4,265 3,341 2,554 1,900 1,371 982
7 Indonesia 7,010 4,846 3,286 2,192 1,479 1,033 752 562 419 350
8 Japan 6,677 6,300 6,042 5,886 5,814 5,570 5,224 4,861 4,604 4,336
9 United Kingdom 5,133 4,744 4,344 3,937 3,595 3,333 3,101 2,835 2,546 2,310
10 Germany 5,024 4,714 4,388 4,048 3,761 3,631 3,519 3,326 3,083 2,851
11 Nigeria 4,640 2,870 1,765 1,083 680 445 306 218 158 121
12 France 4,592 4,227 3,892 3,567 3,306 3,055 2,815 2,577 2,366 2,194
13 South Korea 4,083 3,562 3,089 2,644 2,241 1,861 1,508 1,305 1,071 887
14 Turkey 3,943 3,033 2,300 1,716 1,279 965 740 572 440 390
15 Vietnam 3,607 2,569 1,768 1,169 745 458 273 157 88 55
16 Canada 3,149 2,849 2,569 2,302 2,061 1,856 1,700 1,549 1,389 1,260
17 Philippines 3,010 2,040 1,353 882 582 400 289 215 162 117
18 Italy 2,950 2,737 2,559 2,444 2,391 2,326 2,224 2,072 1,914 1,809
19 Iran 2,663 2,133 1,673 1,273 953 716 544 415 312 245
20 Egypt 2,602 1,728 1,124 718 467 318 229 171 129 101
21 Pakistan 2,085 1,472 1,026 709 497 359 268 206 161 129
22 Bangladesh 1,466 1,001 676 451 304 210 150 110 81 63
Gross Domestic Product per capita (nominal)[24]
Rank 2050 Country 2050 2045 2040 2035 2030 2025 2020 2015 2010 2006 Percent growth from 2006 to 2050
1 United States 91,683 83,489 76,044 69,019 62,717 57,446 53,502 50,200 47,014 44,379 206%
2 South Korea 90,294 75,979 63,924 53,449 44,602 36,813 29,868 26,012 21,602 18,161 497%
3 United Kingdom 79,234 73,807 67,391 61,049 55,904 52,220 49,173 45,591 41,543 38,108 207%
4 Russia 78,435 65,708 54,221 43,800 34,368 26,061 19,311 13,971 9,833 6,909 1,137%
5 Canada 76,002 69,531 63,464 57,728 52,663 48,621 45,961 43,449 40,541 38,071 199%
6 France 75,253 68,252 62,136 56,562 52,327 48,429 44,811 41,332 38,380 36,045 208%
7 Germany 68,253 62,658 57,118 51,710 47,263 45,033 43,223 40,589 37,474 34,588 197%
8 Japan 66,846 60,492 55,756 52,345 49,975 46,419 42,385 38,650 36,194 34,021 196%
9 Mexico 63,149 49,393 38,255 29,417 22,694 17,685 13,979 11,176 8,972 7,918 797%
10 Italy 58,545 52,760 48,070 44,948 43,195 41,358 38,990 35,908 32,948 31,123 188%
11 Brazil 49,759 38,149 29,026 21,924 16,694 12,996 10,375 8,427 6,882 5,657 879%
12 China 49,650 39,719 30,951 23,511 17,522 12,688 8,829 5,837 3,463 2,041 2,432%
13 Turkey 45,595 34,971 26,602 20,046 15,188 11,743 9,291 7,460 6,005 5,545 822%
14 Vietnam 33,472 23,932 16,623 11,148 7,245 4,583 2,834 1,707 1,001 655 5,110%
15 Iran 32,676 26,231 20,746 15,979 12,139 9,328 7,345 5,888 4,652 3,768 867%
16 Indonesia 22,395 15,642 10,784 7,365 5,123 3,711 2,813 2,197 1,724 1,508 1,485%
17 India 20,836 14,446 9,802 6,524 4,360 2,979 2,091 1,492 1,061 817 2,550%
18 Egypt 20,500 14,025 9,443 6,287 4,287 3,080 2,352 1,880 1,531 1,281 1,600%
19 Philippines 20,388 14,260 9,815 6,678 4,635 3,372 2,591 2,075 1,688 1,312 1,553%
20 Nigeria 13,014 8,934 6,117 4,191 2,944 2,161 1,665 1,332 1,087 919 1,416%
21 Pakistan 7,066 5,183 3,775 2,744 2,035 1,568 1,260 1,050 897 778 908%
22 Bangladesh 5,235 3,767 2,698 1,917 1,384 1,027 790 627 510 427 1,225%
Gross Domestic Product in 2006 US$ billions[24]
Groups Countries 2050 2045 2040 2035 2030 2025 2020 2015 2010 2006
BRIC Brazil, Russia, India, China 128,324 98,757 74,483 55,090 40,278 28,925 20,226 13,653 8,640 5,637
G7 Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, USA 66,039 59,475 53,617 48,281 43,745 39,858 36,781 33,414 30,437 28,005

The following three tables are lists of economies by incremental GDP from 2006 to 2050 by Goldman Sachs. They illustrate that the BRICs and N11 nations are replacing G7 nations as the main contributors to world's economic growth. From 2020 to 2050, nine of the ten largest countries by incremental GDP are occupied by the BRICs and N11 nations, in which the United States remains to be the only G7 member as one of the three biggest contributors to the global economic growth. [24].

List of Economies by Incremental Nominal GDP from 2006 to 2020
Rank Country Incremental GDP in billions of 2006 US$
1  China 9,948
2  United States 4,733
3  India 1,939
4  Russia 1,572
5  Brazil 1,130
6  Mexico 891
7  Japan 888
8  United Kingdom 791
9  Germany 668
10  Italy 635
11  France 621
11  South Korea 621
13  Canada 440
14  Indonesia 402
15  Turkey 350
16  Iran 299
17  Vietnam 218
18  Nigeria 185
19  Philippines 172
20  Pakistan 139
21  Egypt 128
22  Bangladesh 87
List of Economies by Incremental Nominal GDP from 2020 to 2035
Rank Country Incremental GDP in billions of 2006 US$
1  China 21,718
2  United States 8,119
3  India 7,666
4  Brazil 2,769
5  Russia 2,711
6  Mexico 2,360
7  Indonesia 1,440
8  South Korea 1,136
9  Turkey 976
10  Vietnam 896
11  United Kingdom 836
12  Nigeria 777
13  France 752
14  Iran 729
15  Japan 662
16  Canada 602
17  Philippines 593
18  Germany 529
19  Egypt 489
20  Pakistan 441
21  Bangladesh 301
22  Italy 220
List of Economies by Incremental Nominal GDP from 2035 to 2050
Rank Country Incremental GDP in billions of 2006 US$
1  China 36,362
2  India 27,154
3  United States 12,417
4  Brazil 6,403
5  Mexico 5,238
6  Indonesia 4,818
7  Nigeria 3,557
8  Russia 3,315
9  Vietnam 2,438
10  Turkey 2,227
11  Philippines 2,128
12  Egypt 1,884
13  South Korea 1,439
14  Iran 1,390
15  Pakistan 1,376
16  United Kingdom 1,196
17  France 1,025
18  Bangladesh 1,015
19  Germany 976
20  Canada 847
21  Japan 791
22  Italy 506

At World Economic Forum 2011, there are 365 corporate executives from BRIC and other emerging nations out of 1000 participants. It is a record number of executives from emerging markets. Nomura Holdings Inc's co-head of global investment banking said that "It's a reflection of where economic power and influence is starting to move." The International Monetary Fund estimates emerging markets may expand 6.5 percent in 2011, more than double the 2.5 percent rate for developed countries. BRIC's takeover made record by 22 percent of global deals or increase by 74 percent in one year and more than quadruple in the last five years.[25]


The BRIC leaders in 2010

Various sources 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 quadrilateral 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, observers 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"[26][27] (K for South Korea), "BRIMC"[28][29] (M for Mexico), "BRICA" (GCC Arab countries – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates)[30] and "BRICET" (including Eastern Europe and Turkey)[31] have become more generic marketing terms to refer to these emerging markets.

In an August 2010 op-ed, Jim O'Neill of Goldman Sachs argued that Africa could be considered the next BRIC.[32] Analysts from rival banks have sought to move beyond the BRIC concept, by introducing their own groupings of emerging markets. Proposals include CIVETs (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa), the EAGLES (Emerging and Growth-Leading Economies) and the 7 per cent Club (which includes those countries which have averaged economic growth of at least 7 per cent a year).[33]


Pretoria sought BRIC membership over 2010 and the process for formal admission began as early as August 2010.[34] South Africa was officially admitted as a BRIC nation on December 24, 2010 after being invited by China and the other BRIC countries to join the group.[35] The capital “S” in BRICS stands for South Africa. President Jacob Zuma is expected to attend the BRICS summit in Beijing in April 2011 as a full member. South Africa stands at a unique position to influence African economic growth and investment. According to Jim O'neill of Goldman Sachs who originally coined the term, Africa's combined current gross domestic product is reasonably similar to that of Brazil and Russia, and slightly above that of India.[36] South Africa is a "gateway" to Southern Africa and Africa in general as the most developed African country.[36] China is South Africa’s largest trading partner, and India wants to increase commercial ties to Africa.[34] South Africa is also Africa’s largest economy, but as number 31 in global GDP economies it is far behind its new partners.[34]

Jim O'Neill expressed surprise when South Africa joined BRIC since South Africa's economy is a quarter of the size of Russia's (the least economically powerful BRIC nation).[37] He believed that the potential was there but did not anticipate inclusion of South Africa at this stage.[36] Martyn Davies, a South African emerging markets expert, argued that the decision to invite South Africa made little commercial sense but was politically astute given China's attempts to establish a foothold in Africa. Further, South Africa's inclusion in BRICS may translate to greater South African support for China in global fora.[37]

African credentials are important geopolitically, giving BRICS a four-continent breadth, influence and trade opportunities.[34] South Africa's addition is a deft political move that further enhances BRICS’ power and status.[34] In the original essay that coined the term, Goldman Sachs did not argue that the BRICs would organize themselves into an economic bloc, or a formal trading association which this move signifies.[citation needed]


The São Paulo Stock Exchange is the third-largest exchange operator by market value in the world.[38]

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 wrote a book in 2007 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.

International Law

Brazilian lawyer and author Adler Martins has published a paper called "Contratos Internacionais entre os países do BRIC"[39] (International Agreements Among BRIC countries) which highlights the international conventions ratified by the BRIC countries, which allow them to maintain trade and investment activities safely within the group. Mr. Martin's study is being further developed by the Federal University of the Minas Gerais State, in Brazil.

Financial diversification

It has been argued that geographic diversification would eventually generate superior risk-adjusted returns for long-term global investors by reducing overall portfolio risk while capturing some of the higher rates of return offered by the emerging markets of Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.[40] By doing so, these institutional investors have contributed to the financial and economic development of key emerging nations such as Brazil, India, China, and Russia. For global investors, India and China constitute both large-scale production platforms and reservoirs of new consumers, whereas Russia is viewed essentially as an exporter of oil and commodities- Brazil and Latin America being somehow "in the middle".


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.[41]

Academics and experts have suggested that China is in a league of its own compared to the other BRIC countries.[42] 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 [sic] 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."[43] 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 foreign-exchange reserves are more than twice as large as those of the other BRICs combined.[44] In that perspective, some pension investment experts have argued that “China alone accounts for more than 70% of the combined GDP growth generated by the BRIC countries [from 1999 to 2010]: if there is a BRIC miracle it’s first and foremost a Chinese one”.[45] The "growth gap" between China and other large emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia and India can be attributed to a large extent to China's early focus on ambitious infrastructure projects: while China invested roughly 9% of its GDP on infrastructure in the 1990s and 2000s, most emerging economies invested only 2% to 5% of their GDP. This considerable spending gap allowed the Chinese economy to grow at near optimal conditions while many South American and South Asian economies suffered from various development bottlenecks (poor transportation networks, aging power grids, mediocre schools...). [46]

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.[citation needed] 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 has been declining rapidly in the 1990s and only recently did the Russian government predict the population to stabilize and grow in 2020. Brazil's and China's populations will begin to decline in several decades[citation needed], 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.[citation needed] 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.[47] Border conflicts with Pakistan, mostly over the long held dispute over Kashmir, has further aggravated any economic ties. 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,[citation needed] 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").[48] Henry Kissinger has stated that the BRIC nations have no hope of acting together as a coherent bloc in world affairs, and that any cooperation will be the result of forces acting on the individual nations.[citation needed]

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.[49]

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.[50]

Proposed inclusions

Mexico and South Korea are currently the world's 13th and 15th largest by nominal GDP,[51] 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.[28][29] 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.[52]

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,[5] 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 to 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".[53]

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.[54][55][56]


Mexico City, Mexico

Primarily, along with the BRICs,[57] 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. 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 nation's economy by creating a large domestic consumer market which in turn creates more jobs.

Mexico in 2050[58]
GDP in USD $9.340 trillion
GDP per capita $63,149
GDP growth (2015–2050) 4.0%
Total population 142 million

South Korea

Seoul, Korea

South Korea is by far the most highly developed country when compared to the BRICs and N-11s. Yet, it has been achieving growth rates of 4-6%, a figure more than double that of other advanced economies. 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.[53] 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. By GDP (PPP), South Korea already overtook a G7 and G8 economy, Canada, in 2009. It then surpassed Spain in 2010 and at current speed, will equal Italy before 2016 to become the world's 11th largest economy and 6th largest among developed countries.[59] Economists from other investment firms argue that Korea will have a GDP per capita of over $96,000 by 2050, surpassing the United States and by far the wealthiest 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.[60]

United Korea

Pyongyang,North Korea

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.[61] The young, skilled labor and large amount of natural resources from the North combined with advanced technology, infrastructure and large amount of capital 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,[61] or even between 2010 and 2020.[62] If it occurred, Korean reunification would immediately raise the country's population to over 70 million.[63]

Korea in 2050[64]
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 (2015–2050) 4.8% 3.9% 11.4%
Total population 71 million 42 million 28 million

See also


  1. ^ Kowitt, Beth (2009-06-17). "For Mr. BRIC, nations meeting a milestone". Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  2. ^ Global Economics Paper No. 99, Dreaming with BRICs and Global Economics Paper 134, How Solid Are the BRICs?
  3. ^ Economist's Another BRIC in the wall 2008 article
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c "How Solid are the BRICs?" (PDF). Global Economics. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  6. ^ Reuters 2011 Investment Outlook Summit, London and New York, 6-7 December 2010
  7. ^ Reuters 2011 Investment Outlook Summit, London and New York, 6–7 December 2010
  8. ^ - New era as South Africa joins BRICS
  9. ^ "". Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
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  11. ^ "Brazil, Russia, India And China (BRIC)". Investopedia. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  12. ^ "BRICs helped by Western finance crisis: Goldman". Reuters. 2008-06-08. 
  13. ^ Mortished, Carl (2008-05-16). "Russia shows its political clout by hosting Bric summit". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-04-26. 
  14. ^ Halpin, Tony (2009-06-17). "Brazil, Russia, India and China form bloc to challenge US dominance". The Times, 17 June 2009. Retrieved from
  15. ^ Ask the expert: BRICs and investor strategy from the Financial Times, Monday 2006-11-06 09:55
  16. ^ 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
  17. ^ BRICs - Goldman Sachs Research Report
  18. ^ a b c "Microsoft Word - Draft of Global Econ Paper No 152.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ Goldman predicts: onwards and upwards for emerging markets, beyondbrics blog
  21. ^ Japan's Gross Domestic Product Fell 0.3% at Year's End
  22. ^ BRICs becoming billionaire factory
  23. ^ IMF World Economic Outlook database
  24. ^ a b c d e "BRICS AND BEYOND" - Goldman Sachs study of BRIC and N11 nations, November 23, 2007.
  25. ^
  26. ^ August 27, 2008 12:00AM (2008-08-27). "The Australian Business - Emerging markets put China, India in the shade".,25197,24224508-5001942,00.html. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  27. ^ Martens, China, "IBM Targets Russian Developers: Could overtake India, China in number of developers, says senior executive", OutSourcing World, February 11, 2006
  28. ^ a b Le Figaro, newspaper, interview with expert Jim 0'Neill (French)
  29. ^ a b "Opinion Page" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  30. ^ "Study: Energy-rich Arab countries are next emerging market". 2007-02-23. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  31. ^ Welcome to Huaye Iron&Steel Group[dead link]
  32. ^ How Africa can become the next Bric, Jim O'Neill, Financial Times
  33. ^ Acronym alert: the Eagles rock, beyondbrics blog
  34. ^ a b c d e
  35. ^
  36. ^ a b c
  37. ^ a b
  38. ^ DealTalk: Nasdaq, CBOE top targets in exchange merger mania Reuters. Feb 10 2011.
  39. ^ MARTINS, Adler. Available at
  40. ^ (French) see M. Nicolas J. Firzli, Asia-Pacific Funds as Diversification Tools for Institutional Investors,, retrieved 2009-04-02 
  41. ^ [Sapovadia, Vrajlal K., Bric Potency: Truth or Trance‘ (April 3, 2010). Available at SSRN:]
  42. ^ "BRICs and G-2". 2009-06-17. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  43. ^ "What BRIC would be without China... | David Rothkopf". Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  44. ^ "The Hindu News Update Service". Chennai, India: 2009-06-08. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  45. ^ (English) see M. Nicolas J. Firzli, “Forecasting the Future: The G7, the BRICs and the China Model”, JTW & An-Nahar, Mar 9 2011,, retrieved 2011-03-09 
  46. ^ M. Nicolas Firzli & Vincent Bazi (Q4 2011). "Infrastructure Investments in an Age of Austerity : The Pension and Sovereign Funds Perspective". Revue Analyse Financière, volume 41 (.). Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  47. ^
  48. ^ "Land of promise". Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  49. ^ "SSRN-BRIC Potency: Truth or Trance? by Vrajlal Sapovadia". 2010-04-03. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  50. ^ "/ FTfm - Emerging Markets: Brics sceptics have their backs to the wall". 2006-12-11.,dwp_uuid=cc9f419c-4bb1-11da-997b-0000779e2340.html. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  51. ^ See List of countries by GDP (nominal)
  52. ^ Pesek, William (2005-12-08). "South Korea, Another `BRIC' in Global Wall: William Pesek Jr.". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  53. ^ a b
  54. ^ Correio Da Manha, newspaper[dead link]
  55. ^ Business Standard, "Emerging risk and return"[dead link]
  56. ^ Company News Group, "L'oreal, first quarter sales report"[dead link]
  57. ^ "BRIC thesis Goldman Sachs Investment Bank, "BRIC"". Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  58. ^ Global Economics Paper No: 153 The N-11m: More Than an Acronym, March 28, 2007.
  59. ^ [1]
  60. ^
  61. ^ a b "Unified Korea to Exceed G7 in 2050". 2009-09-21. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  62. ^ "Questia Online Library". Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  63. ^ List of countries by population
  64. ^ "Global Economics Paper No: 188 "A United Korea?"" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-10-15. 


  • Elder, Miriam, and Leahy, Joe, et al., Who's who: Bric leaders take their place at the top table, Financial Times, London, September 25, 2008
  • Firzli, M. Nicolas, “Forecasting the Future: The BRICs and the China Model”, JTW/ USAK Research Center, Mar 9 2011
  • Kateb, Alexandre, Les nouvelles puissances mondiales. Pourquoi les BRIC changent le monde" (The new global powers. Why the BRIC change the world) (in French), Paris : Ellipses, 2011, 272 p.  ISBN 978-2-7298-6473-6
  • O'Neill, Jim, BRICs could point the way out of the Economic Mire, Financial Times, London, September 23, 2008, p. 28.
  • Mark Kobayashi-Hillary, 'Building a Future with BRICs: The Next Decade for Offshoring' (Nov 2007). ISBN 978-3-540-46453-2.
  • J. Vercueil, Les pays émergents. Brésil-Russie-Inde-Chine... Mutations économiques et nouveaux défis (Emerging Countries. Brazil - Russia - India - China... Economic Transformations and new Challenges) (in French), Paris : Bréal, 2010, 207 p. ISBN 978-2-7495-0957-0
  • Paulo Borba Casella, "BRIC : Brésil, Russie, Inde, Chine et Afrique du Sud - A l'heure d'un nouvel ordre juridique international, éd. A.Pedone, Paris, Sept. 2011, EAN ISBN : 978223300626-4

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  • bric — bric …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • bric — bric·kel·lia; cere·bric; fe·bric·i·ty; fe·bric·u·la; lu·bric; lu·bric·i·ty; lum·bric·i·dae; lum·bric·i·form; ru·bric·i·ty; cam·bric; ru·bric; cim·bric; …   English syllables

  • BRIC — UK US /brɪk/ noun (also Bric) ► ECONOMICS ABBREVIATION for Brazil, Russia, India, and China, used especially to refer to the fast growing economies of these countries: »BRIC country/nation BRIC economy/market »Each BRIC market is different, and… …   Financial and business terms

  • BRIC — ist die Abkürzung für: eine Staatengruppe bestehend aus Brasilien, Russland, Indien und China, siehe BRIC Staaten eine Lebererkrankung, siehe Benigne rekurrierende intrahepatische Cholestase das Biotech Research and Innovation Centre, eine… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Brič — Pays  Croatie Comitat Istrie Municipalité Buje Population (village) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • bric — Bric, Prendre sa partie au bric, In articulo causae aliquid contechnari, vel opprimere …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • BRIC — Para otros usos de este término, véase BRIC (desambiguación). BRIC …   Wikipedia Español

  • BRIC — Страны BRIC: Бразилия, Россия, Индия и Китай Манмохан Сингх, Дмитрий Медведев, Ху Цзиньтао и Луис Инасиу «Лула» да Силва БРИК (англ. BRIC)  устоявшаяся аббревиатура от названия четырёх быстро развивающихся стран: Бразилия …   Википедия

  • BRIC — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom.  Pour les articles homophones, voir brick et brique.   Sigles d’une seule lettre …   Wikipédia en Français

  • bric — BRIC1, bricuri, s.n. Navă cu două catarge, cu pânze pătrate şi bompres, uneori şi cu motor, folosită în trecut în scopuri militare. – Din fr. brick. Trimis de valeriu, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  BRIC2 adj. invar., s.n. (Franţuzism) 1. adj. invar …   Dicționar Român

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