BRIC is not going to be come BRICS

Different size, different growth prospects, different issues and decidedly different league.

South Africa, in its current state with current policies and current trajectory is in no danger of making BRIC become BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

This recent article shows some relevant and credible people agree.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management chairperson Jim O’Neill, who coined the term BRIC nine years ago, told last week’s Reuters 2011 Investment Outlook Summit he was constantly getting e-mails suggesting he added or subtracted countries from the acronym.

South Africa, at a population of under 50m people, is just too small to join the Bric ranks, O’Neill says.

“How can South Africa be regarded as a big economy? And, by the way, they happen to be struggling as well.”

[emphasis added]

Of course, I don’t think Nigeria is anywhere close either.

Published by David Kirk

The opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and other commenters and are not necessarily those of his employer or any other organisation. David Kirk runs Milliman’s actuarial consulting practice in Africa. He is an actuary and is the creator of New Business Margin on Revenue. He specialises in risk and capital management, regulatory change and insurance strategy . He also has extensive experience in embedded value reporting, insurance-related IFRS and share option valuation.

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    1. Yeah, awkward that. I’m tempted to say “they still shouldn’t be” but that would just me compounding my original mistake. I was considering this from an economic perspective, rather than a political counter-US perspective. South Africa’s voting record in the UN is the real driver here. Our small economy and limited growth don’t seem to be relevant.

  1. Agreed, BRIC was initially a descriptive term, grouping together countries that met certain criteria… now it has become almost a political alliance where countries join by invitation rather than qualification. ie Politics, rather than economic factors now dominate.

    Certainly in terms of the initial criteria, your point stands.

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