Jim O’Neill, BRICs and the UK’s Economy

Emerging market analyst
Emerging market analyst

Recently, the new government of the UK has appointed former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neil as a commercial secretary to the treasury. Jim coined the term Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) first, now works closely with George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, UK.

The UK government is seeking alternatives of way out from financial crises and austerity. Policymakers and the government have already started to work through. Side by side Tory government has decided a plan of £12bn funding cut. Tory supporters are confident that austerity taken by the government during last four years was successful. But ‘‘Council leaders across England and Wales have warned that ‘‘another round of funding cuts would devastate local services’’[1]  Hardworking people of the UK are against funding cuts (austerity) because austerity has made people’s life miserable and even Keynesian economics believe that austerity is negative to economic growth. Austerity has been a big issue. It was a bad time rescue operation, probably a by-product of globalization.

The UK is holding a referendum by 2017 on whether or not  to continue the membership with European Union (EU) . This is another big challenge to this Tory government. If people give the mandate to pull out from the EU then the UK definitely need an alternative. United Kingdom has already decided to join Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) whereas the US is not “happy” with the move of the UK to join AIIB. The AIIB is a new international financial institution lead by China and viewed as a rival to the World Bank.[2] The UK is seeking opportunity of huge investment in Asia through AIIB.

Alan yarrow write without mentioning a name of Russia that in  ‘‘India, China, Brazil and the Gulf States will be the most likely countries to see a British Airways plane land on the tarmac in the coming months with business executives in tow, resulting in numerous trade deals signed and a host of commercial partnerships agreed.’’ He highlights that ‘‘The UK leads the world as an education exporter – and it can do better still’’[3] 


O’Neill’s appointment as commercial secretary to the Treasury, with special responsibility for city devolution and public sector infrastructure projects, is intriguing. He chaired the City Growth Commission and is an expert on all those emerging markets that the government would like UK exporters to embrace. Perhaps a dose of scepticism on HS2 sounds more persuasive in Goldmanese. Perhaps O’Neill is the man who can provide the political space to allow the government to retreat from its obsession. If so, we should cheer.[4]

Jim, in his best seller The Growth Map, has claimed that China will have the largest economy in the world, the USA second and India will be third by 2035. Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) will be economically most powerful nations by 2050.[5] International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2014 has already proved that China just overtook the US as he World’s largest economy.[6]

O’Neill also coined the phrase “Manpool” also known as ‘‘Northern Powerhouse” to suggest an agglomeration of Manchester and Liverpool’s economies into a powerful bloc – and recommended prioritising faster transport connections between a series of northern cities.[7] 

Jim Suggested that- ‘’ Globalization did not need to be Americanisation; there was scope for the rest of the world to create their own definition of the term using their own characteristics’’.[8] 

Due to changing global economic contexts and emerging power of China it is right time for every nation to overview their national economic interest for the sake of future. Considering those things Jim can play major role to bust the UK’s economy up. Good Luck for him.

Feature Image : The Guardian


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