The BRICs group has been economic shorthand for the fastest growing and most important nations of the twenty-first century for about a decade now. Last year the ‘s’ was capitalised so that South Africa could be formally included in the club.
Although this is not a formal trading bloc, the leaders of the BRICS nations have now settled into a regular series of conferences where they explore ideas and options for working together. The BRICS has started to establish itself as a force worth reckoning with.
But as I mentioned in a recent blog, one of the real values South Africa can bring to a business is not just trade within our own country, but as a springboard to trade with the 50+ African nations in our continent.
This view is echoed by this Global Post article, which emphasises that it is important to remain focused on the growth of the BRICS, but even more important to watch the nations they interact with or have good access to.
I would still look to the BRICS in a more positive way than the article suggests. Economic growth in countries such as Brazil, China, and India remains strong compared to the rest of the world – just because it is no longer hyper-growth does not imply that these economies are teetering on the edge. One only has to look at the weak growth in the US and entire lack of growth in the EU to realise that twenty-first century business opportunities are certainly to be found in and around the BRICS.
It will be wise to keep a firm eye on the BRICS over the next few years – and in particular South Africa, there is a major economic story about to be written in Africa and we are located in probably best place to start on that journey.
Photo by Blog do Plan Alto licensed under Creative Commons