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What is it?

See BRIC in the Cambridge Business English Dictionary.

BRICs is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, and China, used especially to refer to the fast-growing economies of these countries.* It seems that the first use of the term appeared in a Goldman Sachs report in 2003 which at the time speculated that by 2005 these countries would be major economic powers and be weathlier than countries which held this position at the time. The theory went on to expalin that India and China were on their way to becoming the major global suppliers of manufactured goods and services and Brazil and Russia would take the lead as the major global suppliers of raw materials. When the term was first suggested, they were not considered to be a unified political alliance although they have recently met in New Delhi in a summit. Since the term was coined, South Africa has joined the group as well.

*Cambridge Business English Dictionary

Why is it in the news?

The summit held in Delhi at the end of March 2012 saw these five countries coming together to propose an alternative to the World Bank. As they already account for 28% of the global economy and are still expected to grow, a meeting between them has become important news. The five countries discussed an idea to set up a South-South development bank and to look into trade agreements among themselves.

How can I use it in class?

Write the two acronyms on the board: BRICs and BRICS and ask students if they know what they mean. Explain that the first one includes Brazil, Russia, India and China and the ‘s’ makes the expression plural, The second expression uses the ‘S’ to refer to South Africa. Find out what students know about these countries and ask if they have been to any of them or have had business dealings with them. If you are teaching in one of the BRICS countries, ask students what they know about the other countries in the group. Discuss the information above with students and encourage discussion on the idea of these countries working together more closely.

Vocabulary

Replace the underlined words in the sentences with the words below.
said they were worried about
group
ties
to be able to get
power
made successful
agree on policies
financial assets
risk management system
hampering
during
a different option

1 The Brics group are proposing an alternative to the World Bank.
2 They discussed closer trade links.
3 The summit was held amid Tibetan protests.
4 It was the fourth meeting of the bloc of emerging economies.
5 They are growing in diplomatic clout.
6 The Dehli Declaration expressed concern over the current global situation.
7 They were ready to work with the international community to ensure that the world economy was taken forward.
8 They agreed to expand the capital base of the World Bank.
9 Mr Singh said that developing countries needed access to capital.
10 They called on the IMF to make its surveillance framework more integrated.
11 Mr Singh said that the Brics group must speak with one voice.
12 The developed world has been blamed for hindering other nations with their monetary policies.

Reading

Ask students to read the article ‘Brics summit of emerging nations to explore bank plan and to find the vocabulary from the exercise in the article. Clarify any other vocabulary questions.

Discussion
  • Do you think that this type of summit is helpful or necessary? Why or why not?
  • What do you think will happen if the Brics form a political and economic alliance?
  • Do you think these countries can influence world affairs? Why or why not?
  • Why do you think they are growing so rapidly? Have you had personal business experiences with any of these countries?
  • Do you think that Brics can rival the G7? Why or why not?

Where can I read about it?

Brics summit of emerging nations to explore bank plan, BBC, 29 March 2012
Business Bites: New development bank for Brics nations?, BBC, 29 March 2012
Can Brics rival the G7?, BBC, 29 March 2012

Key

1 a different option, 2 ties, 3 during, 4 group, 5 power, 6 said they were worried about, 7 made successful, 8 financial assets, 9 to be able to get, 10 risk management system, 11 agree on policies, 12 hampering

 

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