Will there be more bricks in the BRICS?

 Cheming Yang

According to Wikipedia, the acronym BRIC

 “was coined by Jim O’Neill, a global economist working for Goldman Sachs, in a 2001 paper entitled ‘Building Better Global Economic BRICs’. 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.”

In this month,China held the first BRICS Trade and Economic Ministers’ Meeting. What does BRICS stand for? BRICS countries are namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. According to the explanation of the MOFCOM, these countries are the most typical emerging countries. The five countries’ population was about 3 billion, making up 42 percent of the world’s total and their combined gross domestic product (GDP) accounts for 18 percent of the global GDP. Their trade volume took up 15 percent of the world’s total, reaching US$4.6 trillion.

In the original form of BRIC, two are in Asia, one partly Asia and partly Europe, and one America. Which continent is left out? Africa. If we absolutely have to pick a representative from African countries, South Africa is definitely an excellent choice especially after the huge world cup party it threw successfully for FIFA in 2010.

Although their economical achievements are impressive, what really is a whopping characteristic is their massive populations, five countries take up 42 percent of the world’s total.

The size of population is imperative for economy development from this observation. No doubt, labor is one of the main elements of production. You need to have manpower to jump start the economy. The BRICS have benefitted from cheap labor in manufacturing goods to export. There are two questions that I wonder in the wake of this interesting meeting. First of all, where are these countries heading after having accomplishing so many? Huge population is an asset but also a burden. With the rising of wages, people become more and more difficult to satisfy and that can cause economic instability and downturn.

The other question is which countries are slated to join this elite club for developing countries despite the acronym. Excluding the developed countries and BRICS, there are still 5 countries that have more than one hundred million people respectively, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Mexico. These countries arguably can follow the successful trails by harnessing their enormous manpower. Indonesia and Mexico obviously have made much headway. Mexico is said to have developed beyond BRICS by many. In any event, it is interesting to see who will benefit from its huge population and who won’t as we stroll further down the 21st century.


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