Les BRIC sans mortier

CAMBRIDGE – Le nouveau président de la Chine, Xi Jinping, a préféré le mois dernier se rendre à Moscou pour sa première visite à l’étranger. Il y a annoncé conjointement avec le président de la Russie Vladimir Poutine une série d’accords, pour se rendre ensuite à Durban, en Afrique du Sud, dans le cadre du cinquième sommet des pays du « BRIC », pour se joindre aux dirigeants de l’Inde, du Brésil, et de l’Afrique du Sud dans l’annonce de la création d’une nouvelle banque de développement en mesure d’amoindrir la dominance de la Banque Mondiale et du Fonds monétaire international. Les cinq discours des dirigeants ont mentionné l’évolution de l’équilibre mondial et le président chinois Xi a même déclaré que « le potentiel de développement des pays du BRIC est infini ».

Tout semble indiquer que les pays du BRIC arrivent finalement à maturité. Il y a trois ans, je faisais partie des sceptiques à l’égard des pays du BRIC. Je le suis encore, malgré le succès apparent du récent sommet.

Il y a presque 12 ans, Jim O’Neill, à l’époque économiste en chef de Goldman Sachs, a consacré le terme « BRIC » pour décrire les « marchés émergents » du Brésil, de la Russie, de l’Inde et de la Chine. De 2000 à 2008, la part de ces quatre pays dans la production mondiale s’est fortement accrue, de 16 % à 22 % (en termes de parité du pouvoir d’achat) et leurs économies ont eu de meilleurs résultats en moyenne pendant la récession mondiale subséquente.

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