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Brazil (top)

Brazil, the largest country in South America, occupies some two-thirds of the continent's entire Atlantic coast. It is bordered by Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Between the 1970’s and 1980’s there was a rapid increase in births. With the majority of the Brazilian population currently under age 40, there is an increasing demand for items such as housing, home appliances, home improvements.

Brazil has a vibrant agricultural sector, driven by increases in both productivity and in cultivated area. The country presently has 152 million acres under cultivation but the government claims that this can easily be more than doubled.

Brazil produces 40% of the sugar traded on world markets and output is increasing by nearly 20% per year.

Investors plan to spend more than US$12 billion over the next five years to erect and expand ethanol plants. The government believes it can increase ethanol production from the annual level of about 18 billion liters today to close to 200 billion liters by 2025. Producers have invested heavily in expanding ethanol capacity.

The government-owned oil company, Petrobras, plans to spend US$39 billion on exploration and production upgrades through 2011.

Brazil is also the world's top producer of orange juice and coffee, and ranks second in world production of soy and meat (beef and poultry) and third for fruits and corn. Altogether, agro-business accounts for over a quarter of total GDP.

Brazil's industrial base is one of the largest and most diversified of any emerging economy. The country's big manufacturers include producers of automobiles, consumer electronics, computers and software, and heavy industries. Today, the country is the world's fourth largest carmaker.

Russia (top)

With its large population and economic size, Russia is the 11th largest economy worldwide.

Recently gaining WTO membership, strong economic growth, and an increasing retail market have made this country attractive to foreign investment.

Until the end of 2011, the government plans to use a state aid package, which involves loans to banks and companies, to stabilize the economy and increase growth.

Russia holds the world’s largest natural gas reserves, with 1,680 trillion cubic feet – nearly twice the reserves in the next largest country, Iran. The country is the world’s largest natural gas producer, as well as the world’s largest exporter.

India (top)
The country’s expanding middle class and education system, along with the deregulation of the service sector, give the country great potential for new business opportunities.

New Delhi's goal is to increase growth to 4% in 2007-2012 by raising yields and improving credit availability.

In manufacturing, the Tata Group is pushing ahead to develop a cheap new car which it hopes to sell for under US$3,000 in India. Planners want car production to reach US$145 billion by 2016, employing 25 million people and generating 10% of GDP.

There is a growing trend among multinationals to do more advanced work in the Indian market. GM and Suzuki have both opened design centers and Suzuki plans to spend more than US1.8 billion in R&D and marketing. India is seen as the eastern hemisphere hub for 24-hour operations, operating in close proximity to the world’s largest emerging markets.

The policy to establish Special Economic Zones (SEZs) is surrounded by controversy. The plan was to provide pockets of adequate infrastructure to stimulate economic activity and pull in foreign investment. The government had hoped the SEZs would attract FDI and approved more than 270 new SEZs in 2006.

The export-oriented information technology and business process outsourcing industries continue to perform well but face mounting competition from Central European economies.

India is the world's fifth largest energy consumer and plans major energy infrastructure investments to keep up with increasing demand.

China (top)

China plans to become a major player in the global car market. The Chinese government has designated the automotive industry as a pillar industry for the country's economic growth. It has a target that vehicles made by Chinese manufacturers will account for more than half of China's vehicle sales by 2010.

With his many resources, China is Africa’s third largest trading partner.

Due to his large population, it is the world’s third largest trading nation and it has the most cell phone subscribers worldwide.

China is the world's biggest producer and consumer of cotton.

China is the world's second largest consumer of petroleum products after the US. The country's expanding energy needs represents more than a third of the world total increase in demand. Between 2005 and 2010 the government has set a goal of increasing energy efficiency by 20%.

Euromonitor International