An Analysis of BRIC’s Performance: Economic Growth, Social Development and Future Challenges

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Copyright: Rodrigues, Jacira
The BRIC cluster, namely, Brazil, Russia, India and China, has been described as the fastest growing emerging economies in recent times. Their outstanding economic growth has led them to be included in the top ten wealth generating countries in the world. Together, they account for 40% of the total world population, one quarter of the planet’s land and 25% of gross domestic product (GDP) (Global Sherpa, 2016). Since being grouped as the BRIC cluster in 2001, their relationship has evolved, economic growth escalated and political ties strengthened. Given the differences, their performance as an economic cluster has been exceptional, and their political standing in the international arena, gained through their inter-country co-operation, quite unpredictable. This study investigates the achievements of Brazil, Russia, India and China on economic, social and human capital development indicators. Specifically, the aims are to analyse the evolution of the BRIC cluster, investigate their economic performance, explore their social and human capital stages of development, identify gaps and gauge the challenges encountered by each of these countries for further development. The study involves an extensive review of the literature, materials sourced from the member countries, and strategic reports from high level national, regional, and international organizations as components of secondary data collection. Analysis of the knowledge and data gathered is based on sub-sets of key indicators, including total GPD evolution, GDP rates of growth, GDP per capital, human development performance (Human Development Index) and poverty rates. BRIC’s performance on economic indicators has been deservedly celebrated, albeit to varying degrees. In contrast, performance on the social indicators has been more modest, with indications of poverty, inequality and poor management in areas of human development, although there are some signs of increasing investment in education where it was lacking. Doubt continues to exist about whether BRIC will be able to sustain its economic growth as a group or as individual countries, in addition to, concomitantly, improving human development levels. Evidence suggests signs of economic slowdown and that unsolved social and human capital development issues may have the potential to constrain future upward trends in these countries. Further studies are required to understand the ongoing internal and external dynamics of the BRIC cluster, emerging economic disruptions and the pace of development required to shift from developing to developed country status.
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Rodrigues, Jacira
Ramburuth, Prem
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Masters Thesis
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