Globalisation and Emerging Economies

Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa

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OECD countries still dominate the world economy, but their share of world trade dropped from 73% in 1992 to 64% in 2005, and some of the world’s most important economies are not members of the OECD. Foremost among these are the so-called BRIICS: Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa.

This book analyses key elements of the trade performance of the BRIICS in relation to the rest of the world, focusing on trade and other policies influencing that performance. Developments in global trade policy are reviewed, notably the impact of preferential trade agreements on the multilateral system and patterns of world trade are described using both indices that reveal networks of trading relations and more standard modeling results.

As well as the global analysis, the book also presents a separate chapter for each of the BRIICS, examining the key development and trade issues in each of the six countries over the past few years.



One of the most telling ways to describe China’s trade performance in recent decades is in terms of its integration into the global trade network, Figure 1.2. This truly spectacular trade performance has moved the economy from an isolationist position to the core of the trade network in the space of 30 years. What this means is that China is at the core of many global supply chains on a par with the G3 countries. That is, since 1978 China has chosen to become heavily dependent on the import supply of raw materials, parts and components and services from the rest of the world to meet the export demand for a wide range of final capital and consumer goods. In the words of the Growth Commission (2008), China is “fully exploiting the world economy” as one of its growth planks. In doing so China has stimulated the global demand for the export products and services of a very wide range of countries and it has provided very competitive products for consumers globally. In this way, China has been a prime mover is the dispersion of economic activity worldwide and has greatly contributed to the strong economic growth in the world as a whole in the recent past.


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