At the beginning of the second millennia, Jim O’Neill, a British economist, and current British government minister wrote a paper called “Building Better Global Economic BRICs” (O’Neill, 2001). In this research, he noted advancing economic development of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. The paper noted the rapid rise of these economies in the face of an economic crisis and discussed the possibility of a future shift in power away from the current leaders the G7 economies. In 2005, a new list was introduced. Dubbed Next Eleven, it listed Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, South Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Turkey and Vietnam. These countries, along with BRICs, have the potential to overshadow the current leaders of the economy and may define the economic landscape of the world in the following fifty years (Eghbal, 2008).
It necessary to understand both the conditions which led to this rapid development, as well as the effects it has on the global economy.
Countries like China, India, Brazil and Vietnam, the members of BRICs and Next-11, are notable for being fast growing emerging markets, which have put effort into joining global.
Few, if any of these countries are self-sufficient, which makes collaboration a very useful idea. They show signs of political maturity, willingness to accept open trade and allow investors into the country, and controlled inflation.
Each of these countries is an example of a massive economic transformation and recovery. While nowadays China is the second-largest economy in the world, with an estimated gross domestic product being about one-fifth of America’s, back in 1978 it was one of the poorest countries in the world. Over nearly forty years the country has become a trading and manufacturing powerhouse, the largest exporter of goods and the second biggest importer. For example, it is the largest consumer of food and beverage products, surpassing even America.
China achieved this through massive economic reform in 1979, as well diligent planning strategies (“five-year-plans”), as well as some methods that have been criticized by the West, like local favorism, protectionism restrictive on foreign companies, artificial currency devaluation. In spite of criticism, this has allowed China to maintain steady economic growth (Zhu, 2012, p. 103-4).
Similar advances can be observed in India, Brazil and Vietnam, with India seemingly outpacing even China in economic growth. All of these countries and the others on the lists had to go through drastic economic and market reforms. In India, Brazil and Vietnam, these reformations resulted in the creation of a free market. In India services are the main focus. This has led to a significant reduction of poverty and improvement of some spheres of life, although the country still suffers from an underdeveloped infrastructure and skills deficiency on the job market (Burke, 2016, para. 2-7).
Similarly to China, Brazil has an inward-oriented economy. This has made Brazil the second largest economy in the Western Hemisphere. It focuses on creating opportunities for local investors and producers, as well as controlling public expenditure, and achieving administration efficiency.
Vietnam, like China, maintains a planned economy. Its market orientation has allowed Vietnam to achieve quick financial growth, as well as integrate into the global economy. Vietnam and Brazil are recognized as some of the fastest growing economies of the 2000s and 2010s, a status that is estimated to improve over the next two decades (Uyen, 2016, para.3-5)
Using these four countries as examples, we can see several parallels. All four countries started out in a very negative financial situation and had to carry out extensive economic reforms in the 80s-90s, which, on the one hand, shifted the countries towards market-oriented economy and outside trade, and, on the other, introduced laws to support the local businesses. The development is also noted for being very uneven, with some spheres of society remaining almost on the same level as before the reforms.
If we again look at food and beverage industries in these countries, we can see that they are quickly growing, with most of the countries on the list being active exporters of products. In Vietnam, coffee is one of the biggest export products. If the economy growth spike in these countries doesn’t slow down, their competitive potential in the global market will increase even further.
As is often associated with fast-growing economies, these countries are facing problems with increase of hazardous waste and are lacking in safety and security policies that would regulate waste treatment and disposal. A review of waste generation and management in China showed that and estimated 66% of all industrial solid waste was put in landfills, and 35% incinerated, Of medical waste barely 10% are properly treated (Duan, Huang, Wang, Zhou & Li, 2008, p.5). These numbers are parallel to the other countries. Vietnam, for example, possesses the regulations for dealing with waste, but its recycling and waste disposal capacity is weak (“United Nations Environment Programme“, para.1-8)
The BRICs and Next 11 countries all possess massive economic potential, and in the near future might become the new centers of the global economy. They have parallel histories of economic development and employ similar policies to achieve the desired growth. However, the growth is uneven, and by focusing on particular industries, the countries ignore others. This results in pressing poverty and environmental health issues. There are signs that the countries are attempting to resolve these concerns, but it is clear that at the moment, they are secondary to the overall growth.
Burke, J. (2016). Now India is growing fast it’s time to update our tired image of the country. Web.
Duan, H., Huang, Q., Wang, Q., Zhou, B., & Li, J. (2008). Hazardous waste generation and management in China: A review. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 158(2-3), 221-227. Web.
Eghbal, M. (2008). The Next 11 Emerging Economies. Web.
O’Neill, J. (2001). Building Better Global Economic BRICs. Web.
United Nations Environment Programme. (n.d.). Web.
Uyen, N. D. (2016). Vietnam’s Economy Is an Emerging Market Standout. Web.
Zhu, X. (2012). Understanding China’s Growth: Past, Present, and Future. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 26(4), 103-124. Web.