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BRICS nations have huge potential


08-31-2016 19:25 BJT

Full coverage: G20 Hangzhou Summit

BRICS nations have experienced some difficulties, but as China's President Xi Jinping said, all five nations still enjoy abundant natural and human resources, vast domestic markets, and huge development potential.  Let's take a closer look now at the bloc's past, its present, and its future potential.

When Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa were brought together as representatives of emerging markets seven years ago, the "BRICS" bloc was expected to become a major player in the world economic system. But domestic and international challenges have kept the bloc from realizing its full potential. 

Brazil is experiencing its worst recession since the 1930's. A sharp decline in world oil prices has hurt the Russian economy. And Indian economic growth is challenged by bureaucracy. As China shifts towards a more service-based economy, South Africa still struggles to build the infrastructure and business environment needed to attract foreign investment.

The bloc faces real challenges, but it also enjoys many advantages relative to other nations around the world. BRICS nations control over a quarter of the earth’s terrritory -- and make up nearly half of the world’s population. Over the past ten years, the bloc has been responsible for about 50 percent of global economic growth.

In 2013, trade between BRICS members totalled 350 billion US dollars -- around half of the world's total. A large supply of labor, an abundance of natural resources, and a vast consumer base will continue to be the foundation for the bloc's economic success.

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