June 13th, 2011
12:35 PM GMT
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Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) - It's becoming an area of spirited debate in government and financial circles - what is and isn't a BRIC country and how should they be classified?

One one side of the arguement is BRIC creator Jim O'Neill at Goldman Sachs and his supporters. In 2000 O'Neill put together a group of four countries –Brazil, Russia, India and China - which he considered would rank uppermost in the list of most economically important countries within 40 or so years.

Their size was already or would be, in the not too distant future, 3%-5% of the global economy.

It turned out to be not only a prescient forecast but a golden marketing term for the four countries as they continued to surge ahead in economic might and importance.

Soon after that somone else suggested the BRIC block to include South Korea. Nothing to do with Jim O'Neill.

In fact according to a paper published in 2005, South Korea and Mexico were considered in the original group but were left out because they were thought more developed and were already members of the OECD.

Then along came the BRICS, the "S" denoting South Africa. Again, nothing to do with Jim O'Neill.

As some more cynical economists have noted it was more to do with a political move, pushed forward by China to include a resource-rich region that China is anxious to develop ties with.

Others say that South Africa should denote the region - Africa as a whole - which would tick many BRIC boxes.

And so it goes. As the emerging world forges ahead and western economies hesitatingly recover from the financial crisis the call for inclusion in the BRIC block becomes louder.

Indonesia is now pressing its claim. BRIIC anyone?

Judging by the response from senior business leaders and opinion-makers at the World Economic Forum in Jakarta it has a strong case.

The head of McKinsey Worldwide, and the head of Standard Chartered Bank in Asia, senior members of the World Economic Forum itself and even the CEO of Unilever gave the thumbs up to Indonesia.

Even WEF founder Klaus Schwab was heard to utter the word I-BRIC.

Indonesia's investment minister, and a former Goldman man himself, says he's keen to get Mr O'Neill down to Indonesia to take a look for himself.

But here's the question. Can the term now be picked up and used by any politician or pundit, or does it make sense for the people who invented it, to keep it updated and relevant?

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Filed under: Business


soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. geo

    Y Indonesia ..Y now

    Ans:cos Indonesia is supporting French finance minister Christine Lagarde as IMF Chief

    June 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  2. Red Cloud

    Nothing in this world is 'Fixed' or 'Permanent' . In the same vein, there is nothing sacrosanct about BRIC. When Goldman Sachs team of Jim O'Neil and Roopa Purshottham coined, little did they image that it would capture the imagination of the world, and what BRIC would stand for 30 to 40 years from now. So, it is fair and good, if more want to join the 'Ranks' of BRIC and let it grow – why stop with 4. If BRIC becomes BRIICSAM – so be it. More the merrier !!

    June 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  3. htpind

    i would request ....do china out......include all country but not china at allllllllllllll

    June 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  4. Andrew

    Like the G-7, BRIC will become an economic grouping that will rival the current G-7. Each one of the members of BRIC are $1 trilllion or near about economies, together they will soon overtake the G-7. As the G-7 economies are going through recessions and fade into oblivion. BRIC will have 4-5 more economies added to become the most important economic block within a decade.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  5. Lauro Silva Brazil

    It´s a two edged knife because rampant corruption is not at the door-step but already installed inside for long, oppressing more and more the poor people, public health,security,education and sanitation.

    June 13, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  6. Brian DuPont

    when are you gonna call it BRICS and not BRIC are you retarted or something, dnt make us go watch BBC u f*g @steven

    June 13, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  7. Jarhead

    Sounds like a lot of bric-a-brac to me!

    June 13, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  8. David A.

    In order to use BRIC , you need MORTAR. What countries could be represented by those letters? What would be the economic equivalent or definition for "MORTAR". ?? Its something to think about.

    June 13, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  9. Boomerang2011

    Indonesia cannot be considered to this 'bric' countries because it has a small market and if you visit their cities there are HUGE slums, squatters, poverty, corruption everywhere... (well, isnt that the same features of these bric countries?) lol

    good try, cnn, for distracting us again with this bric brouhaha when you cant even report a single article about the bilderberg group.

    June 13, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  10. Sly Reference

    Well, I see that BRIC had now become a marketing term for governments looking for investors.

    It's interesting to see that Indonesia thinks that it's worthy of being spoken of in the same breath as China or India. Sure, it's had a few good years, but this was the country that descended into chaos a little over a decade ago during the Asian Financial Crisis. Its position and stability has improved remarkably since then, but there's still underdeveloped, and has a long way to go in terms of political stability and controling corruption. It's headed in the right direction, but what happens when Yudhoyono steps down? Are the improvements truly a result of structural changes or just a result of the current regime? There are far too many questions to ask before Indonesia really could be put on the list.

    June 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  11. asfghjkl

    @Red Cloud

    "Nothing in this world is 'Fixed' or 'Permanent'"

    Death and Taxes...

    June 13, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  12. ThatsNotTrue:[

    ...............bound to happen.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  13. Subbu

    It does not matter if it BRIC or BRAC or something else.The focus has to only to objective of the club.It can include many countries as they want and result in part of the greater growing economic countries.Be blessed and also be blessing to other nations.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:33 am |
  14. Hello

    International public opinion polls: WHO DID 9/11?

    Mexico 31% USA did 9/11
    Middle East Most everyone thinks Israel (and USA) did 9/11
    Germany 90% Official USA version of 9/11 not believable
    USA 22% USA government; 60%: Official USA version is not believable
    Afghanistan 82% What is 9/11?

    In short, THE WORLD thinks that 9/11 was an INSIDE JOB.

    http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/international_security_bt/535.php

    I'm all for our President and our great Empire, just giving the facts.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:51 am |
  15. Ikebrazil

    Brazil is the 2th largest economy inside the BRIC, and it´s a democracy... I think CNN should take it into account before portraying brazilians as miserable street children living on the jungle, governed by a "fugitive guerrilla".

    June 14, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
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