The Growth Map: Jim O’Neill

forecast of global economy
BRIC: Future Power

Reviewed by Jesi ©

January 2014

Professor Jim O’Neill famously coined the term ‘BRIC’ (Brazil, Russia, India & China) economies in a 2001 paper, predicting that Brazil, Russia, India and China would become future powerhouses of the world economy. Jim O’Neill a PhD economist from the University of Surrey coined the acronym BRICs first from their initials to describe them in 2002 before inception of BRIC organization in 2008 while he was working for Goldman Sachs. He was Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and the firm’s Chief Economist from 2001 to 2011. Before joining Goldman Sachs, he was Head of Global Research at Swiss Bank Corp.

The Growth Map written by Jim O’Neill is a glimpse of the BRIC countries’s economic anatomy.  In this book Jim has highlighted the forecast he had made in a research work for Goldman Sachs in 2002. By using the GES, GSDEER (developed by him) and other economic indicators Jim predicted that China would be the first largest economy in the world, the USA second and India the third by 2035. BRICs would be the most powerful bloc by 2050.

He has replaced the term ‘emerging market’ with ‘growth markets’ to represent BRIC. He has now identified the MINT bloc (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey) – and N-11 bloc (Bangladesh,  Egypt,  Indonesia,  Iran,  Mexico,  Nigeria,  Pakistan, Philippines, Turkey, South Korea, and Vietnam) as emerging economic giants.

An interesting coincidence is  that Jim had been to Everest Base Camp, Nepal via Lukla’s Tenjing Hilary Airport to celebrate their 25th wedding ceremony before some months Lehman Brothers declared itself bankrupt. While he was trekking around the Everest area he found ‘powerful example of how globalization was alive and well’- mentioned in the book. Jim Suggested that ‘’ Globalization need not to be Americanization; there is scope for the rest of the world to create their own definition of the term using their own characteristics’’.

By commenting on Jim’s paper (2002) and its forecast on BRIC’s economy  Professor Niall Ferguson (Harvard) was one of the many who said ”projections were some of the silliest things ever he had read”. But now (in 2011) he has changed his mind and says ”There is no better guide to the new map of the economic world than Jim O’Neill. This sharp, shrewd book (The Growth of Map) tells the big story of our time: the fundamental shift of economic power from the West to the Rest”.

Jim illustrated that once Byron Wien Vice-Chairman of Blackstone, USA asked a group of Chinese people how they felt about not being to vote.  One of them told him: ’what’s the big deal about voting? In the US everyone can do it and only half of the people do. If voting were that great thing, like sex for example, everyone would do it’. This was to show that they are much focused in economy and less in politics.

When I finished the book then some questions came in my mind. Basically, how Nepal can be benefited from the growth of China and India ! as this small country is laying from west to east being a border between these giant countries. Nepal can offer its huge hydro power and other natural resources to them to invest money for mutual benefit. It is a matter of pondering how to plug-in the power there so that Nepal’s bargaining power can be increased ! What sorts of economic diplomacy are needed that can bring ‘safe investment’ and ‘political stability’. it is better creating a triangular-shaped relation between Nepal, India and China to use Nepalese natural resources would be a sustainable process rather than working in a team like Nepal India or Nepal china or China India. So why don’t we initiate to make a kind of bloc like Nepal, India  and China (NIC) for mutual benefit ! It’s already too late to think over the matter. To much ‘Politicising the words’ are a sheer silly mind and better excuse to waste time!

Wow… I couldn’t sleep a night until finished the book when I was excitedly swimming into the splash of immense ideas and avenues mentioned in the book….although some rocks of questions need to be broken and bring into the real shape of forecast how north-south characteristics of these countries  cross the sea in a boat !

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