Jan Hofmeyr. With post-recession growth remaining sluggish, the emerging economies must interrogate the sustainability of their development models and adapt domestic policies to promote inclusive growth and greater social equality.
Since the acronym was coined by Goldman Sachs’ Jim O’Neill in 2001, the story of the BRICs (later to become BRICS) has almost exclusively been relayed in gross domestic product (GDP) terms. It has been one that emphasized size and scale where magnitude and margins propelled markets.
By now the statistics are all too familiar: In 2013, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa together contributed 25 per cent to global GDP, conducted 15 per cent of global trade, and hosted 40 per cent of the world’s population. By 2016, China is expected to overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy in purchasing power parity terms.
The turbo-charged growth in these countries not only made many fabulously wealthy, it also catapulted millions out of poverty into the middle class. In Brazil, for example, Lula’s Bolsa Familia reduced the incidence of poverty by 27% since its inception. The rapid extension of government grants and pensions in South Africa also lifted millions out of poverty. And most remarkably, in China 680 million people escaped the ranks of the poor between 1981 and 2010; a decline in poverty rates from 84% to 10%. Read more...