BRIC countries launch business alliance

Wednesday, 18 April 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: BRIC comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China, which are set to emerge as the world's top four economies by 2050, have the potential to shape the global power system, said an Indian diplomat here.

"There is an inbuilt complementarity between these four countries. To sustain their growth, India and China needs a lot of raw materials which Russia and Brazil have in abundance," R. Viswanathan, joint secretary in charge of the Latin America and Caribbean division in the external affairs ministry, said Wednesday.

The foreign ministers of the BRIC countries will be meeting here later this year to promote business and investment between these countries and to cement BRIC as an economic bloc.

"All these aspiring powers that are changing the status quo and seeking a multi-polar world have the potential to reshape the world order," Viswanathan later told IANS on the sidelines of the function to launch the BRIC Business Alliance sponsored by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM).

Former foreign secretary Shashank also outlined synergies between the four BRIC countries and envisioned a robust future of their emergence as the world's leading economic and political powers in the next three-four decades.

According to Goldman Sachs, India will become a motor for global economy by quadrupling its per capita income by 2020, increasing consumption of cars five times, crude oil three times and multiplying manifold housing, real estate and urban infrastructure.

Tushar Poddar, an economist with Goldman Sachs, said that incomes will rise dramatically in the BRIC countries. Nearly 210 million people in these countries will have income of $15,000 and more by 2025, which will be more than the combined population of Japan, Germany, the UK, France and Italy, Poddar said.

In a pioneering study in 2003, Goldman Sachs predicted that China will overtake as the world's leading economy followed by India, the US, Brazil and Russia and the combined economies of BRIC could outperform those of the six leading developed countries in monetary terms by 2050.

Luis Balduino, counsellor (economic), embassy of Brazil, Nikolay Stepanov, acting trade representative, embassy of Russia, and Jenny Deng, second secretary, embassy of China, represented their respective countries at the launch of the BRIC business group.

The BRIC countries should deepen economic cooperation among them and cash in on each other's strengths, Jenny Deng said.

The growth of BRIC economies has profound implications for the evolving world order and would signal a shift in economic power towards Asia and would entail a reshaping of international institutions. The explosion in the middle class in these countries will be a key driver of global growth in the decades to come.

Holding out the possibility of Brazil, a country which is two and a half times the size of India, emerging as an agricultural superpower, Viswanathan said that God and history had been kind to Brazil in so far as in its 180-year-old history as an independent nation it has enjoyed stability and now is surging ahead to take its rightful place as a leading country on the world stage.

Besides agriculture, Brazil has already emerged as the world's leader in eco-friendly ethanol fuel and plans to collaborate with India and other important powers to form an international forum for marketing biofuels.
Source: IANS
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