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Perspectives on Global Development 2014

Boosting Productivity to Meet the Middle-Income Challenge

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Developing economies continue to grow faster than more advanced countries. Non-OECD countries’ share in world GDP surpassed that of OECD countries in 2010. Since its first edition in 2010, the annual Perspectives on Global Development has investigated the trends in “shifting wealth”, the increasing economic weight of developing countries in the world economy. “Shifting wealth” has received a boost through the rise of China, which has also led to positive spillover effects on developing economies that supply China’s demand for resource-based products and intermediates. However, even at their higher rates of growth since 2000, the per capita incomes in developing countries – including many middle-income countries – will not reach the levels of developed countries by 2050. Boosting productivity growth in middle-income countries could stem this trend and is the focus of this report. At the same time, this growth needs to be inclusive so a real convergence in living standards can take place.

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Development challenges of the BRIICS

OECD Development Centre

The performance of the BRIICS (Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa) will be essential for continuing the process of shifting the weight of economic activity from OECD to non-OECD countries. Moreover, the diversity of BRIICS’ development experiences and the challenges and opportunities they face may be of interest to other developing countries as they craft their own development strategies. This chapter firstly explores the sources of their economic growth and the development of their international integration; highlighting the importance of investment and imports of foreign knowledge for sustained and increasingly productivity-driven growth. Building on this, the chapter also includes individual country notes for each of the BRIICS providing more details on the history of their economic development and the challenges and prospects for them to move beyond the middle-income level; underlining that it requires not only economic policies, but also adjustments to improve equity and environmental sustainability.

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