Just look at the map below; but do not read the fine text or the captions. What map does it look like ? BRIC map, right ?Do not worry; I too was surprised when I realized it was supposed to be the map of the iron ore producing countries of the world. Leave out Australia, and it is indeed a map of BRIC. To be frank, I have always felt that Australia may be better qualified to be in the company BRIC economies than South Africa.
The coincidence is very interesting. If the fastest growing economies are the ones which are sitting on the best piles of iron ore, it speaks eloquently about the turn the future global economic development is likely to take.
What is the most interesting is the fact this is in clear contrast to the movement of global economic power in the past. Post Industrial Revolution, Europe has dominated the scene, followed by US. Europe was almost totally devoid of any significant mineral resources. US have had its share of the resources, but nothing to sing about.
Both used their political and economic clout to acquire mineral resources from across the world on favourable terms of trade. In the later half of the twentieth century Japan achieved impressive growth, without almost any mineral resources, again using its economic and technological prowess to turn the terms of trade in its favour.
Now that is history. What may the future look like, when the economies charge ahead loaded with resources ?