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Map of BRIC countries BRIC.svg
Map of BRIC countries


Federative Republic of Brazil
President: Jair Bolsonaro
Russian Federation
President: Vladimir Putin
Prime Minister: Mikhail Mishustin
Republic of India
President: Ram Nath Kovind
Prime Minister: Narendra Modi
People's Republic of China
President: Xi Jinping
Premier: Li Keqiang

BRIC is a grouping acronym referring to the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, deemed to be developing countries at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development, on their way to becoming developed countries. It is typically rendered as "the BRICs" or "the BRIC countries" or "the BRIC economies" or alternatively as the "Big Four". A related acronym, BRICS, adds South Africa. Indonesia is sometimes suggested to be included on the basis that it is in a similar situation. [1]


The term was coined by economist Jim O'Neill in 2001 as an acronym for the four countries, which were deemed to be at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development. [2] [3] [4] [5] In 2009 the leaders of the four countries held their first summit and in 2010 BRIC became a formal institution. [6] South Africa began efforts to join the BRIC grouping and on December 24, 2010, was invited to join BRICS. [7] The original aim of BRIC was the establishment of an equitable, democratic and multi-polar world order, [6] but later BRIC became a political organization, especially after South Africa joined. [8] O'Neill told the 2010 summit that South Africa, at a population of under 50 million people, was just too small as an economy to join the BRIC ranks. [9]

The future of BRIC as an economic group is questionable. In 2012, a book with the title Breakout Nations argued that it is hard to sustain rapid growth for more than a decade. [10]


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. [11] 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 $20 trillion. 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.{Incal 2011}

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. [12]

"Dreaming with BRIC: The Path to 2050" (2003)

The BRIC thesis recognizes that Brazil, Russia, India and China have changed their political systems to embrace global capitalism. [13] 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. Of the four countries, Brazil remains the only polity that can 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.

In 2016, an economist from Australia predicted that in 2050, based on Gross Domestic Product per capita spending, China will be the first and followed by India and the United States. Indonesia which nowadays does not belong to BRIC countries will jump from 9th position to 4th position. And Brazil will be in the fifth position. It is due to the global economic center is shifting from the Atlantic to the Asia Pacific region. [14]

Follow-up report (2004)

The Goldman Sachs global economics team released a follow-up report to its initial BRIC study in 2004. [15] 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 people. 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 level of individuals in the more advanced economies will continue to far outstrip the BRIC economic average.

The report also highlights India's inefficient energy consumption 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 asserts 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. [16]

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. [16]

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. [16] At the same time, the report indicated that Russia, while continuing its dominance of the European energy market, would continue to struggle economically, as its population declines.

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

According to a 2010 report from Goldman Sachs, China might surpass the United States in equity market capitalization terms by 2030 and become the single largest equity market in the world. [17] 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. [18] 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. [19]

According to The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) based on International Monetary Fund figures, in 2012 Brazil has become the sixth-biggest economy in the world by overtaking United Kingdom with $2.52 trillion and $2.48 trillion, respectively. In 2010, the Brazilian economy was worth $2.09 trillion and UK with $2.25 trillion. Significant increase is caused by Brazilian economic boom on high food and oil prices. [20] Since the beginning of the Great Recession, in Q3 2013 economy of Brazil contracted by 0.5 percent from the previous quarter as the first contraction since Q1 2009. [21]

After Standard & Poor's (S&P) stated that India's growth outlook could deteriorate if policymaking and governance do not improve, in June 2012 Fitch Ratings cut its credit outlook to negative from stable with maintained its BBB- rating, the lowest investment-grade rating. A week before Fitch released the rating, S&P said India could become the first of the BRIC countries to lose investment-grade status. [22]

For the year 2013, China for the first time surpassed $4 trillion of world trade and become as world's largest trading country, consist of: export $2.21 trillion and import $1.95 trillion. While the United States for 11 months of 2013 world trade figure totaling $3.5 trillion and seems cannot beat China. China world trade balance in 2013 surplus by almost $260 billion a 12.8 percent increased from last year. [23]

Goldman Sachs has quietly closed down its BRIC fund after lost 88 percent of its asset value since 2010 and put the fund in emerging markets countries. Historically, Jim O'Neill who coined the term of BRIC was the former chief economist of Goldman Sachs. The head of emerging markets for Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Ruchir Sharma has released a book in 2012: Breakout Nations which mentioned that it is hard to sustain rapid growth for more than a decade. [10]

Based on a March 2011 Forbes report, the BRIC countries counted 301 billionaires among their combined populations, exceeding the number of billionaires in Europe, which stood at 300 in 2011. [24]


Proportion of world (countries with data) nominal GDP for the countries with the top 10 highest nominal GDP in 2018, from 1980 to 2018 with IMF projections until 2024. Countries marked with an asterisk are non-G8 countries. Historical top 10 nominal GDP proportion 2018.svg
Proportion of world (countries with data) nominal GDP for the countries with the top 10 highest nominal GDP in 2018, from 1980 to 2018 with IMF projections until 2024. Countries marked with an asterisk are non-G8 countries.

A Goldman Sachs paper published in December 2005 explained why Mexico was not included in the original BRICs. [26] 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.

General statistics

Area 5th1st7th3rd
Population 5th9th2nd1st
Population growth rate 128th177th98th148th
Labour force 5th6th2nd1st
GDP (nominal) 8th10th5th2nd
GDP (PPP) 7th6th3rd1st
GDP (nominal) per capita 57th47th139th86th
GDP (PPP) per capita 75th55th126th94th
GDP (real) growth rate 180th177th3rd12th
Human Development Index 85th55th114th101st
Exports 6th8th12th1st
Imports 21st17th8th2nd
Current account balance 187th5th186th2nd
Received FDI 13th16th19th4th
Foreign exchange reserves 10th6th9th1st
External debt 20th21st22nd12th
Public debt 42nd190th104th184th
Electricity consumption 9th4th3rd1st
Renewable energy source 3rd5th6th1st
Number of mobile phones 4th5th2nd1st
Number of internet users 5th6th2nd1st
Motor vehicle production 9th15th5th1st
Military expenditures 11th4th5th2nd
Active troops 15th5th2nd1st
UN Peacekeepers 24th77th3rd9th
Rail network 10th3rd4th2nd
Road network 4th7th2nd3rd

Goldman Sachs prediction

The ten largest economies in the world in 2050, measured in GDP (billions of 2006 USD), according to Goldman Sachs Top five largest economies in 2050.jpg
The ten largest economies in the world in 2050, measured in GDP (billions of 2006 USD), according to Goldman Sachs
Gross Domestic Product in 2006 US$ billions [27]
Rank 2050Country205020452040203520302030 USDA [28] !! 20252020201520102006Percent increase from 2006 to 2050
3United States38,51433,90429,82326,09722,81724,80020,08717,97816,19414,53513,245190%
9United Kingdom5,1334,7444,3443,9373,5953,6003,3333,1012,8352,5462,310122%
13South Korea4,0833,5623,0892,6442,2411,9001,8611,5081,3051,071887360%

Note: All data above is from Goldman Sachs, except the 2030 USDA column is data from U.S. Department of Agriculture (2030 USDA) about World's 20 Largest Economies in 2030, but only 16 match with Goldman Sachs data. In 2030 USDA, Mexico and Indonesia will topple South Korea (please see Section Proposed inclusions). There is no South Africa of BRIC S in the above table. In 2030, the sole country from Africa is Nigeria and the US is still number one, but China almost overtakes the US.

Gross Domestic Product per capita (real) [27]
Rank 2050Country2050204520402035203020252020201520102006Percent increase from 2006 to 2050
1United States91,68383,48976,04469,01962,71757,44653,50250,20047,01444,379106%
2South Korea90,29475,97963,92453,44944,60236,81329,86826,01221,60218,161397%
3United Kingdom79,23473,80767,39161,04955,90452,22049,17345,59141,54338,108107%
Gross Domestic Product in 2006 US$ billions [27]
BRICSBrazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa128,32498,75774,48355,09040,27828,92520,22613,6538,6405,637
G7Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, US66,03959,47553,61748,28143,74539,85836,78133,41430,43728,005

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 the 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. [27]

List of Economies by Incremental Nominal GDP from 2006 to 2020
RankCountryIncremental GDP in billions of 2006 US$
2United States4,733
8United Kingdom791
11South Korea621
List of Economies by Incremental Nominal GDP from 2020 to 2035
RankCountryIncremental GDP in billions of 2006 US$
2United States8,119
8South Korea1,136
11United Kingdom836
List of economies by incremental nominal GDP from 2035 to 2050
RankCountryIncremental GDP in billions of 2006 US$
3United States12,417
13South Korea1,439
16United Kingdom1,196

At the World Economic Forum 2011, there were 365 corporate executives from BRIC and other emerging nations out of 1000 participants. It was 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 estimated emerging markets might 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 quadrupled in the last five years. [29]

According to The World Bank Doing Business report 2019 the BRIC economies introduced a total of 21 reforms, with getting electricity and trading across borders the most common areas of improvement. [30]


The BRIC leaders in 2010 BRIC2010.jpg
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 Organisation (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" [31] [32] (K for South Korea), "BRIMC" [33] [34] (M for Mexico), "BRICA" (GCC Arab countries—Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates) [35] and "BRICET" (including Eastern Europe and Turkey) [36] 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. [37] 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 percent club (which includes those countries which have averaged economic growth of at least 7 percent a year). [38]

South Africa sought BRIC membership since 2009 and the process for formal admission began as early as August 2010. [39] 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. [40] The capital "S" in BRICS stands for South Africa. President Jacob Zuma attend the BRICS summit in Sanya 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. [41] South Africa is a "gateway" to Southern Africa and Africa in general as the most developed African country. [41] China is South Africa's largest trading partner, and India wants to increase commercial ties with Africa. [7] South Africa is also Africa's largest economy, but as number 31 in global GDP economies it is far behind its new partners. [7]

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). [42] He believed that the potential was there but did not anticipate inclusion of South Africa at this stage. [41] 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. [42] He has great belief that the "S" in "BRICS" could be replaced eventually by SADC.

African credentials are important geopolitically, giving BRICS a four-continent breadth, influence and trade opportunities. [7] South Africa's addition is a deft political move that further enhances BRICS' power and status. [7] 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 Sao Paulo Stock Exchange is the third-largest exchange operator by market value in the world. Sao Paulo Stock Exchange.jpg
The São Paulo Stock Exchange is the third-largest exchange operator by market value 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. 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 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, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, 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" [44] (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. 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. [45] 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.

Academics and experts have suggested that China is in a league of its own compared to the other BRIC countries. [46] 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." [47] 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. [48] 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". [49] 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, aging power grids, mediocre schools). [50]

The preeminence of China and India as major manufacturing countries with unrealized potential has been widely recognized, 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 United States. There is also the possibility of conflict over Taiwan in the case of China, or Ukraine in the case of Russia.

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 1970s "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 Pakistan have always been tense. In 1998, there was a nuclear standoff between Pakistan and India. [51] 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"). [52] 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 ]

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. [53]

Based on IMF's World Economic Outlook Database, October 2016, the top economies in 2021 (by projected nominal gross domestic product (GDP)) are going to be China, the U.S., India, Japan, Germany, Russia, Indonesia, Brazil, the U.K., and France respectively. [54] Nowadays Indonesia is not BRIC country, but as solely emerging economies in the list sets on seven in projected 2021 top economies. There are no South Africa and no (South Korea, Mexico, (GCC Arab countries—Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates), Eastern Europe and Turkey) as mentioned above.

Proposed inclusions

Mexico and South Korea are currently the world's 13th and 15th largest by nominal GDP just behind the BRIC and G7 economies. 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. [33] [34] 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". [55] Again Jim O'Neil recently created the term MIKT that stands for Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, and Turkey. [56]

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, [26] 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". [57]

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. [58] [59] [60]


Mexico City Atardecer reforma.jpg
Mexico City

Primarily, along with the BRICs, [61] Goldman Sachs argues that the economic potential of Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico and China is such that they may become (with the United States) 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 newfound 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 [62]
GDP in USD $9.340 trillion
GDP per capita $63,149
GDP growth (2015–2050)4.0%
Total population 142 million

South Korea

South Korea is one of the world's most highly developed countries and including it with developing countries like the BRICs is not deemed correct. However, commentators such as William Pesek from Bloomberg argue that Korea is "Another 'BRIC' in Global Wall", suggesting that it stands out from the Next Eleven economies with its BRIC-like growth rate, despite its Human Development Index being higher than some of the world's most advanced economies, including France, UK, Austria, Denmark, Finland and Belgium. South Korean workers are the wealthiest among major Asian countries, with a higher income than Japan and the strongest growth rate in the OECD. 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. [57] According to the IMF, South Korea's GDP measured by purchasing power parity is already larger than Canada and Spain. In terms of GDP per capita (PPP), South Korea overtook Spain in 2010. According to Citibank, South Korea will continue by overtaking Germany, Britain, Australia and Sweden by 2020, surpassing Canada, Switzerland, Netherlands and Norway by 2030 and taking over the United States by 2040 to become the world's wealthiest major economy. While measuring the South Korean economy by nominal GDP is inaccurate as the South Korean won is artificially kept low to boost exports, IMF predicts South Korea's nominal GDP and GDP per capita will surpass Spain in 2015. Economists from other investment firms argue that even when measured by nominal GDP per capita, South Korea will achieve over $145,000 in 2040, surpassing the United States, suggesting that wealth is more important than size for bond investors, stating that Korea's credit rating will be rated AAA sooner than 2050. [63]

United 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 and Japan within 30–40 years of reunification, estimating GDP to surpass $6 trillion by 2050. [64] 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, [64] or even between 2010 and 2020. [65] If it occurred, Korean reunification would immediately raise the country's population to over 70 million. [66]

Korea in 2050 [67]
Unification flag of Korea.svg United Korea Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Flag of North Korea.svg  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 million42 million28 million

Current leaders

See also

Related Research Articles

Economy of South Korea National economy

The economy of South Korea is a highly developed mixed economy dominated by family-owned conglomerates called chaebols. It is the 4th largest GDP in Asia and the 12th largest in the world. South Korea is known for its spectacular rise from one of the poorest countries in the world to a developed, high-income country in just a few generations. This economic growth has been described as the Miracle on the Han River, which has brought South Korea to the ranks of elite countries in the OECD and the G-20. South Korea still remains one of the fastest growing developed countries in the world following the Great Recession. It is included in the group of Next Eleven countries that will dominate the global economy in the middle of the 21st century.

Newly industrialized country last of third world countries

The category of newly industrialized country (NIC) is a socioeconomic classification applied to several countries around the world by political scientists and economists. They represent a subset of developing countries whose economic growth is much higher than other developing countries; and where the social consequences of industrialization, such as urbanization, are reorganizing society.

The economy of Asia comprises more than 4.5 billion people living in 49 different nations. Asia is the fastest growing economic region, as well as the largest continental economy by both GDP Nominal and PPP in the world. Moreover, Asia is the site of some of the world's longest modern economic booms, starting from the Japanese economic miracle (1950–1990), Miracle on the Han River (1961–1996) in South Korea, economic boom (1978–2013) in China and economic boom in India (1991–present).

An emerging market is a market that has some characteristics of a developed market, but does not fully meet its standards. This includes markets that may become developed markets in the future or were in the past. The term "frontier market" is used for developing countries with smaller, riskier, or more illiquid capital markets than "emerging". The economies of China and India are considered to be the largest emerging markets. According to The Economist, many people find the term outdated, but no new term has gained traction. Emerging market hedge fund capital reached a record new level in the first quarter of 2011 of $121 billion. The four largest emerging and developing economies by either nominal or PPP-adjusted GDP are the BRIC countries.

G20 International forum of 19 countries and the EU

The G20 is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union (EU). Founded in 1999 with the aim to discuss policy pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability, the G20 has expanded its agenda since 2008 and heads of government or heads of state, as well as finance ministers and foreign ministers, have periodically conferred at summits ever since. It seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organization.

Asian Century

The Asian Century is the projected 21st-century dominance of Asian politics and culture, assuming certain demographic and economic trends persist. The concept of Asian Century parallels the characterization of the 19th century as Britain's Imperial Century, and the 20th century as the American Century.

Potential superpowers Entity speculated to become a superpower

A potential superpower is a state or a political and economic entity that is speculated to be—or to have the potential to soon become—a superpower.

Jim ONeill, Baron ONeill of Gatley British economist

Terence James O'Neill, Baron O'Neill of Gatley ) is a British economist best known for coining BRICs, the acronym that stands for Brazil, Russia, India, and China—the four rapidly developing countries that have come to symbolise the shift in global economic power away from the developed G7 economies. He is also a former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and former Conservative government minister. As of January 2014, he is an Honorary Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester. He was appointed Commercial Secretary to the Treasury in the Second Cameron Ministry, a position he held until his resignation on 23 September 2016. Since 2008, he has written monthly columns for international media organization Project Syndicate.

1st BRIC summit

The inaugural BRIC summit took place in Yekaterinburg, Russia on June 16, 2009. The four heads of government from the BRIC countries attended.

The E7 is the seven countries China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Indonesia and Turkey, grouped together because of their major emerging economies. The term was coined by the economists John Hawksworth and Gordon Cookson at PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2006.

2nd BRIC summit

The 2010 BRIC summit took place in Brasília, Brazil on April 16, 2010. This was the second BRIC summit after Yekaterinburg in 2009. The meeting took place between the four heads of government from the BRIC states following bilateral meetings in the prior days.

CIVETS group of six emerging-market countries

The CIVETS are six favored emerging market countries – Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa. These countries are favored for several reasons, such as "a diverse and dynamic economy" and "a young, growing population". This list is comparable to the Next Eleven, devised by Jim O'Neill of Goldman Sachs.

Emerging and growth-leading economies Grouping of key emerging markets developed by BBVA Research

Emerging and growth-leading economies (EAGLEs) are a grouping of key emerging markets developed by BBVA Research. The EAGLE economies are expected to lead global growth in the next 10 years, and to provide important opportunities for investors.

3G countries or Global Growth Generating countries are 11 countries which have been identified as sources of growth potential and of profitable investment opportunities.

BRICS Association of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa

BRICS is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Originally the first four were grouped as "BRIC", before the induction of South Africa in 2010. The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs; all are members of G20. Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits. China hosted the 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen on September 2017, while Brazil hosted the most recent 11th BRICS summit on 13-14 November 2019.

Emerging power Nation or block with steadily rising influence in world affairs

An emerging power or rising power is a term used as recognition of the rising, primarily influence of a nation—or union of nations—which has steadily increased their presence in global affairs. Such a power aspires to have a more powerful position or role in international relations, either regionally or globally, and possess sufficient resources and levels of development that such goals are potentially achievable.

Ruchir Sharma businessperson

Ruchir Sharma is an Indian investor and fund manager who has written widely on global economics and politics. As Chief Global Strategist and head of the Emerging Markets Equity team at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, he manages $20 billion in assets under management. A longtime columnist for newspapers and magazines around the world, Sharma is the author of The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in a Post-Crisis World and Breakout Nations.

MINT (economics)

MINT is an acronym referring to the economies of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey. The term was originally coined in 2014 by Fidelity Investments, a Boston-based asset management firm, and was popularized by Jim O'Neill of Goldman Sachs, who had created the term BRIC. 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 issued by these governments. These four countries are also part of the "Next Eleven".


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