Edited by Vai Io Lo and Mary Hiscock
Chapter 9: The BRICS: Experiments with state capitalism and institutional investment
The BRICS is a loose international political association of leading emerging economies which were grouped together by Jim OíNeill of Goldman Sachs in a paper in 2001 (OíNeill, 2001; see also OíNeill, 2011). This term has entered the lexicon of meetings and mass media debate on public policy, especially after the common concern to promote economic growth as a result of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). It originally was the BRIC ñ the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the Peopleís Republic of China ñ but now the Republic of South Africa has been added (ëNew eraí, 2011). Russia in some respects is the odd one out as the others are all developing countries. South Africa under Apartheid was not necessarily regarded as a developing country, but since the political reforms it has been going through difficult adjustments. All of the BRICS countries are regarded as growing economies, representing 43 per cent of the worldís population, although recently they have slowed down. All are having significant influence on regional and global affairs. Hu Jintao claims that the group is a defender and promoter of developing countries (ëBRICS is the defenderí, 2012) and increasingly seems to be seeking to balance the weight of US hegemony for a greater role in international organizations. Next year Russia has the presidency of the G20. The BRICS is pressing for reform of the IMF, World Bank and the Security Council of the United Nations.
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