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Photo: Aenneken

aThe emergence of the BRICs may challenge existing models of capitalism. Already the ascendancy of Western multinationals is being tested. Worried about economic decline, Japan is now looking towards the Indian education system for inspiration. In the light of the current financial crisis commentators are already suggesting the Anglo-Saxon model does not have all the answers. Chinese Commun-capitalism, Indian Regulated Capitalism, Russian Authoritarian Capitalism and Latin American Populist Capitalism are all jostling for influence. As the US and others hit roadblocks to their economic growth the hierarchy could be shaken up sooner than expected.

Latest numbers from the OECD remind us that on a PPP (purchasing power parity) basis i.e. taking into account that the cost of living in some countries is cheaper, China will become the world's largest economy before 2015. BRIC success of course is not guaranteed, with serious obstacles in the form of climate change, environmental degradation, access to resources, not to mention the political and social strains of any fast growing developing economy. Will the BRICs be able to sustain dynamic growth rates in the face of such challenges?

This is part of Outsights 21 Drivers for the 21st Century ™, a future-orientated scan of the 21 key forces shaping this century.


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