The four, large developing BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) have the demographic and economic potential to rank among the world’s largest and most influential economies in the 21st century. Together, the four original BRIC countries comprise more than 2.8 billion people or 40 percent of the world’s population, cover over a quarter of the world’s land area over three continents, and account for more than 25 percent of global GDP.
One BRIC, Two BRICs
The BRIC designation was first coined by Jim O’Neil of Goldman Sachs in a 2001 paper titled “The World Needs Better Economic BRICs.” The BRIC countries have since gone on to meet and seek out opportunities for cooperation in trade, investment, infrastructure development and other arenas. China invited South Africa to join the group of BRIC nations in December, 2010 and hosted the third annual BRICs Summit in April, 2011.
BRICs and the World Economy
As early as 2003, Goldman Sachs forecasted that China and India would become the first and third largest economies by 2050, with Brazil and Russia capturing the fifth and sixth spots. From 2000 to 2008, the BRIC countries’ combined share of total world economic output rose from 16 to 22 percent. Together, the BRIC countries accounted for 30 percent of the increase in global output during the period. The rapid economic growth and demographics of China and India are expected to give rise to a large middle class whose consumption would help drive the BRICs’ economic development and expansion of the global economy.
China and the BRIC Countries
To date, the scale of China’s economy and pace of its development has out-distanced those of its BRIC peers. China alone contributed more than half of the BRIC countries’ share and greater than 15 percent of the growth in world economic …