Building capacity to help Africa trade better

South Africa – how do we become a BRIC?

Working Papers

South Africa – how do we become a BRIC?

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In a recent tralac Trade Brief, Sandrey (2011) examined how South Africa measured against some of the general criteria associated with the economic performance of the so-called ‘BRIC’ countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). The overall generalisation made is that South Africa does not ‘measure up’ in terms of economic size, but fits the middle patterns of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in recent years, recognizing that the perceived concept of the BRICs’ dynamic GDP growth is biased due to the spectacular growth of China and India. South Africa also does not ‘measure up’ in terms of trade levels and performance.

The objective for this paper is to assess what South Africa may need to do in order to genuinely claim membership of this exalted ‘BRICs’ club. To do this we use the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) database and associated computer model to illustrate the importance of increased Total Factor Productivity (TFP) in the South African economy and the impact it has upon both GDP growth rates and trade performance until 2020 from a base year of 2007.

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South Africa – how do we become a BRIC? - Author(s): Ron Sandrey and Hans G. Jensen

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