Thursday, May 13, 2010

What’s in a BRIC? - Project Syndicate

Joseph Nye, argues that the BRIC acronym, "makes ilitte sense for long-term assessments of global power relations"  particularly when it comes to the R - as in Russia.

While a BRICs meeting may be convenient for coordinating some short-term diplomatic tactics, the term lumps together disparate countries that have deep divisions. It makes little sense to include Russia, a former superpower, with three developing economies. Of the four members, Russia has the smallest and most literate population and a much higher per capita income, but, more importantly, many observers believe that Russia is declining while the other three are rising in power resources.
Brazil in Nye's view does come across pretty well - 
Since curbing inflation and instituting market reforms in the 1990’s, Brazil has shown an impressive rate of economic growth in the range of 5%. With a territory nearly three times the size of India’s, 90% of its 200 million people literate, a $2 trillion GDP equivalent to Russia’s and per capita income of $10,000 (three times India’s and nearly twice China’s), Brazil has impressive power resources. In 2007, the discovery of massive offshore oil reserves promised to make Brazil a significant power in the energy arena as well.

Ultimately,  it will not become a "serious political organization"  of like-minded states" more like a group of countries that do well economically.

So, how seriously should analysts take the term BRIC? As an indicator of economic opportunity, they should welcome it, though it would make more sense if Indonesia replaced Russia. In political terms, China, India, and Russia are competitors for power in Asia, and Brazil and India have been hurt by China’s undervalued currency. Thus, BRIC is not likely to become a serious political organization of like-minded states.
What’s in a BRIC? - Project SyndicatePosted using ShareThis

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