Despite Setbacks, BRICS can still Stay the Course

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Some acronyms sound nice. BRICS is one such. Coined originally by the Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neil in 2001 as BRIC, it stood for Brazil, Russia, India and China, which at that point in time were projected as a group of economic powerhouses that could shape the world’s economic destiny in the years to come.
Goldman Sachs did another study in 2003
– Dreaming with BRICs: The Path to 2050
– developing on its earlier findings to make projections for the next fifty years.
The report predicted that BRIC countries were poised to become a force to reckon with on the global economic scene by mid-century. They would be among the six-largest industrialised and developed global economies besides the US and Japan. A decade later, BRIC was expanded to include South Africa to make the organisation more inclusive and globally more representative.
The acronym BRICS sounded even better now. It is as if a credible foundation had been laid for a much larger global edifice to come up in the next four decades. The question is how far BRIC/BRICS countries have stayed on the path of their projected course or strayed off it. Can they resort to a correctional course to regain the vigour and vitality that the world has reposed in them?
What are the BRICS strengths, beginning with the group’s late entrant, South Africa?

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