Royal Bank of Scotland subsidiary says BRIC obsolete term

By Andrei Skvarsky.

Coutts, a lender owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, argues that the 13-year-old BRIC term is obsolete.

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The economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China are much too different in size and performance to justify seeing the four nations as a distinctive group. Moreover, there is a bunch of other emerging markets that are likely to catch up soon with China and India, apparently BRIC’s best-performing nations, according to Coutts’s Today & Tomorrow investment outlook for 2014.

In the 10 years from 2008 to 2018, China’s contribution to global economic growth is expected to increase to almost 18% from 11% and India’s to rise to 6.3% from 4.8%, while the contributions of Russia and Brazil would drop, Coutts says.

Aside from China and India, the markets that are set to make the greatest contribution to world growth are Indonesia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Iraq, the Philippines, Qatar, Peru, Vietnam, Turkey, Malaysia and Ethiopia, the London-headquartered bank says.

The term BRIC was coined by Jim O’Neill at Goldman Sachs in 2001 to highlight the economic growth of Brazil, Russia, India and China, which rivalled that of G7 countries.

The BRIC concept was taken up by politicians, with the four countries forming a loose political alliance. Russia hosted the first BRIC summit in June 2009. In 2010, South Africa, whose 2013 GDP was not much bigger than that of Nigeria or Malaysia and smaller than, say, that of Indonesia, joined the bloc, which was renamed BRICS.

BRIC and later BRICS have altogether had five summits, the latest one in Durban, South Africa, in March last year.

The term BRIC was coined by by Jim O’Neill at Goldman Sachs 13 years ago to highlight the economic growth of Brazil, Russia, India and China, rivalling that of G7 countries.

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