Emerging Markets Update: Are the BRIC Economies Living up to Their Potential?

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Posted by DHL Express UK : Posted on September 10, 2014

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When Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill coined the acronym ‘BRIC’ in 2001, he positioned Brazil, Russia, India and China as key emerging markets. Two years later, O’Neill and his team expanded on this projection model, emphasising that the BRICs may well dominate the world economy by 2050.


But more than 10 years since these projections were made, are the BRIC economies living up to their potential?


After years of economic slowdown, Brazil now appears to be entering a recession – while Russia is facing the prospect of economic sanctions.


Things have been looking somewhat better for India, as the country’s economy grew by 5.7 per cent in 2014 Q1. However, there are already warning signs that this growth may not be sustainable.


China stands as the exception; O’Neill himself stated in 2013 that it’s the only BRIC nation that has come true to its potential. Though the country’s manufacturing sector – key to its economic power – slowed in August 2014, this is a side-effect of rebalancing the economy towards domestic demand – and China continues to be well on track to be the world’s largest economy.


What does this mean for British international traders? The key takeaway is that even though Brazil, Russia and India may not dominate the world economy by 2050 in the way that O’Neill had envisaged back in 2001, their vast and continuously growing consumer bases nonetheless offer tremendous potential for British businesses to export their goods.


This becomes clear when considering where these countries are set to be by 2020:


  • Families in the emergent, established and affluent segments will make up 37 per cent of all households in Brazil by 2020, by which point Brazilian households will represent an annual market of around US$ 1.6 trillion (3.2 trillion Brazilian reais).



  • India, in turn, is on its way to becoming to be the world’s third largest middle class consumer market behind China and the USA by 2020. By 2030, India’s aggregated consumer spend is predicted to reach almost US$ 13 trillion, higher than either China or the USA.


  • And by 2022, more than 75 per cent of China’s urban consumers will earn 60,000 to 229,000 renminbi (US$ 9,000 to US$ 34,000) a year.


Our dedicated destination guides include a country overview with key facts and information on what you should know about the markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China before exploring them in more depth, as well as practical advice on Customs guidance and prohibited /restricted items. For even more advice on shipping your goods to the BRICs, listen to our Customs team’s easy-to-understand videos with top tips – such as including a typed invoice when making a shipment to China. And if you have any questions about getting your products to these markets, just call your DHL Account Manager or our Business Export Advisor team.









Sources: BBC, Boston Consulting Group, Business Insider, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, Reuters, Telegraph, Wall Street Journal


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