February 18, 2011

Out with the BRICs, Time for the TIMBIs

Key materials

China and Russia are very differently positioned for the future, facing fundamentally different demographic trajectories and technical and trade opportunities, than the TIMBIs. China’s growth over the last three decades has propelled it to second place in the global economy, and it will continue to be a major player for some time to come, but its days of doubledigit growth are numbered, and it will not overtake the United States in economic output for many decades to come. Russia will have to struggle enormously simply to maintain growth rates of 5 percent per year, and with stagnant oil output, new competition for European natural gas markets, a sharply declining work force, and few other dynamic sectors in its economy, even slower growth seems likely. For the next two or three decades, the major shifts in the world’s economic rankings are liable to come from sustained growth in the democratic and entrepreneurial economies of Turkey, India, Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia. These are the countries now following the path of rapid industrialization combined with a demographic dividend that brought China, and before them Japan and South Korea, sustained rapid growth. Though smaller, they should collectively outpace China in economic output and growth in the near future. Thus the BRICs are out—look to the TIMBIs to lead the next major surge in global economic growth.