Brics 'need political reform for growth'

2012-10-15 07:58

Berlin - The world's five emerging economic powerhouses will experience significantly slower growth if they delay in implementing key political reforms, according to a report released on Monday by Germany's Bertelsmann foundation.

The report said the five Brics countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - must focus on creating competent and stable political institutions and improving their education, health and judicial systems in order to achieve sustainable growth.

Brazil, which the report says has halved incidences of extreme poverty and moved 20 million people into the middle class in the last decade, was called "the most promising of the Brics states" because of its institutional reforms and infrastructure improvements.

The "worst-performing" country in the comparative study was Russia, which suffers from "a unilateral economic strategy, patronage and the lack of involvement of civil society." It said Russia must diversify its economy by overcoming its reliance on natural resources.

The Bertelsmann report, titled "Sustainable Governance in the Brics," said the results for China were "ambivalent" as the country grapples with problems related to demography, social inequality and pollution. India too is plagued by "enormous regional and social imbalances," as well as infrastructure shortfalls and widespread corruption, which hinder growth.

The report lauded South Africa for its economic stability, reduction of state debt and strengthening of social welfare policies, but said it held a "middling" position within the Brics, due in large part the poor performance of its education system and labour market. It has the highest level of social inequality in the grouping.

The five countries are home to 42% of the world population and make up some 18% of global gross domestic product (GDP). Goldman Sachs, the investment group that coined the Brics acronym in 2001, forecasts the countries to account for some 40% of global GDP by 2050.


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  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-10-15 08:14

    Thats not going to happen any time soon in South Africa.

      matshobana.siziba - 2012-10-15 08:37

      ZUMA THE CHESS PLAYER:In chess a Queen is the most powerful piece, and the King is an important piece. Our Present presented with these facts went on to get himself 5 Queens and @ least 21 pawns (children). In actual SA politics, the situation is reversed: the queen’s relative lack of intellectual capacity, access to political, economic, military power and strategic mobility renders the Presidents Queens and pawns a burden to the Tax Payers. Discussion on like the page and be part of the change needed.

      Shaun Daly - 2012-10-15 08:40

      Nor China or Russia, so RCS at least will be around for a long while

      marcusvandermerwe - 2012-10-15 09:01

      I think he got China and SA's problems confused. On a different note, our biggest barrier is probably labour legislation and our compromise with unions.

  • dewalds3 - 2012-10-15 08:38

    Maybe Germany should focus on the EU at this stage..?

  • danny.holando - 2012-10-15 09:29

    Ghana or Nigeria are expected to knock SA out of the BRIC 5 as early as early as next year - s SA will no longer be able to claim any BRIC status soon

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