BRICS- Present Scenario
In demographic terms, BRICS holds the world’s two most populated countries and another two with considerable populations. China alone holds a fifth of the world’s population, and is closely followed by India (17.5%) and, by a larger gap Brazil (2.9%) and Russia (2.2%). Despite their large territories – Russia’s 17 million sq.km, India’s 3.2 million sq.km, China’s 9.3 million sq.km and Brazil’s 8.5 million sq.km–, the BRICS differ from each other in terms of natural resources, level of industrialization and impact on the global economy. China, which is the most continuous civilization in history – not strictly in terms of political linearity but rather in terms of cultural continuity. The country has a tragic contemporary history, marked by economic decadence, political instability, military humiliation and social regression caused by a deep degradation of the social fabric after Mao Zedong’s economic follies created a human hecatomb and a demographic “gap” of tens of millions of people. India is the world’s second oldest “continuous” civilization – the inverted commas are to highlight the country’s cultural and ethnic diversity. India has no cultural unity as such, and its political history only seems to make sense when we look at it as a temporary “unit” created by foreign invasions, specifically by the Mughal Empire, followed by the domination of an English trading company which was then converted into British supremacy over several peoples who were very different to each other. Modern India is an invention of the British Empire. Russia is also ancient, with cultural traditions that have made it into a cultural unit since the Middle Ages, when barbarian migrations led to the creation of a proto-homogenousSlavic proto-nation. This took place when Peter the Great subjugated feudal authority and consolidated his power over an undefined territory, drawn together under an insipient State based on imperial absolutism. This State expanded between the 18th and the 20th centuries, when it reached the height of its territorial size and power under the rule of the Soviet Czars. The Soviet Empire was a paradox in Russia’s trajectory. Despite achieving the national security it had always aspired to, it also created an irrational economic system that ended up causing the State’s structural crisis and thunderous downfall. Finally there is Brazil, a typical colonial creation, with the slow implementation of a successful economy contrasting with a more precocious State building. Brazil’s unified State came before the consolidation of an integrated economy. The State was the inducer of an industrial economy, which is quite modern compared with other peripheral countries. Brazil is happy with its geographical division and regional relations. This context of regional peace –at least since the end of the Paraguayan War (1865-1870) – and of a lack of real external threats are defining factors behind Brazil’s geopolitical singularity and should be considered as a positive asset for regional and international inclusion BRICS account for more than 40 per cent of the global population, nearly 30 per cent of the land mass, and a share in world GDP (in PPP terms) that increased from 16 per cent in 2000 to nearly 25 per cent in 2010, and is expected to rise significantly in the near future. If one compares the GDP inPPP terms for 2010, four economies i gure among the G-20 top ten, with China, India, Russia, Brazil, and South Africa in 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 26th place, respectively. In terms of contribution to growth of PPP-adjusted global GDP of the world, these five economies accounted for 55 per cent during 2000–8, and their contribution is expected to rise in the coming years. However, as per the criterion of GDP at market prices, among the members of the G-20, China holds the 2nd position while Brazil, India, Russia, and South Africa hold the 7th, 9th, 11th, and 19th positions, respectively.
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