The Rise of the BRICS in the Global Political Economy

The Rise of the BRICS in the Global Political Economy

Changing Paradigms?

Edited by Vai Io Lo and Mary Hiscock

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Vai Io Lo and Mary Hiscock, together with scholars and researchers from around the world, investigate the rise of the BRICS and assess the extent of their further development and influence from the perspectives of economics, international relations and law.

Chapter 10: The power of the BRICS in world trade and growth, analysing the macroeconomic impacts within and across the bloc

Ahmed Khalid

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, political economy, politics and public policy, political economy


The BRICS is a composition of five emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The five countries together represent about 42 per cent of the worldís population, over 24 per cent of all land, and about 20 per cent of the worldís total GDP, contributing a combined nominal GDP of more than US$14.9 trillion. Over the past decade trade between the BRICS and other regions such as North America, the EU and Japan has surpassed the US$2 trillion mark. Trade within the BRICS countries is growing at an average of 28 per cent per annum, reaching more than US$300 billion in 2012 and is expected to achieve US$500 billion by 2015. Obviously these numbers suggest that the BRICS has emerged as a major power bloc. However, given the size of its population and the economy as well as other socio-economic indicators, China seems to be the power pillar of this bloc. The term was first introduced as the BRIC (without South Africa) through a report by Goldman Sachs in 2001, claiming the emergence of four countries as a major trade bloc (OíNeill, 2001). However, the idea received more attention with another Goldman Sachs report, which provided projection of the BRICís growth by 2050 (Wilson & Purushothaman, 2003). Later another Goldman Sachs report further extended the analysis of the BRIC with other emerging economies (OíNeil, Wilson, Purushothaman & Stupnytska, 2005).

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