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Economic Comparison Of Brazil, Russia, India And China


Emerging can be defined as coming into maturity or coming into existence, while nation refers to a community of people in a country, who share a real or imagined common history, culture, language or ethnic origin. Besides it is also commonly used in informal discourse as a synonym for a state or a country.

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Goldman Sachs, a bank based in New York that engages in investment banking, securities and investment management along with other financial services believe than there are four countries that will be playing an important role in determining the world’s economy in the future. These 4 nations hold 25% of the world’s land coverage and 40% of the world’s population. Also, the 4 countries mentioned are among the biggest and fastest emerging markets.

These countries are Brazil, Russia, India and China, also known as BRIC.

Over the years, Brazil has had difficult economic problems. They have accumulated heavy foreign debt obligations and experienced severe inflation. Although most have tried to implement economic reforms reducing their debt, the last few years have again seen a downturn in the economy.

Even though it happened in Brazil, but they still continue to attract investors, partly drawn from opportunity created by Brazil’s privatization of telecommunications and other infrastructure sectors. Economy of Brazil also has weaknesses. These are mostly related to debts. Domestic debts went up from 1994 to 2003. But Brazil controlled this rise in 2006. The president has introduced economic programs to control taxes and increase public investment.

Brazil’s economy has been undergoing a continuous growth and development from 2004. The economic system of Brazil is standing on a floating exchange rate, a system that is inflation targeting and a compressed fiscal policy. Brazil had to face a sharp depreciation in the currency which led to a drastic adjustment in current account from 2003 to 2006. This was followed by trade surpluses. Surplus agricultural production also led to an increase in exports.

Along with China, Russia is another emerging nation that fast growing. Russia is attempting to get its economy going by removing many administered prices and subsidies and letting free-market forces take over. The problem with this strategy is that it results in very high inflation. Besides freeing the price up, the other major development that is needed for Russian to transform into a market economy is privatization. Privatization has taken a number of different forms, including turning a large number of state-run businesses over to the workers and managers. In addition, an increasing number of public enterprises issued stock, and both employees and investors outside purchased ownership.

Russia’s economic development in the 21st century today has revived hopes that the country will regain its leading positions in the world, which it lost during its transition from a centralized and planned governance system to market-economy methods of regulation. From 2000 to 2005, Russia’s Gross Domestic Product increased 50 percent; while the government’s rigid financial policy eliminated the need for foreign loans. This has given Russia the opportunity to beef up its budgetary and hard currency reserves against possible financial crises.

India, with a population of about 1 billion and growing, has traditionally had more than its share of political and economic problem. Although their GDP per capita remains low, but the recent trend of higher value added services has helped to bolster a large middle and upper class market for goods and services. Although India’s economic growth does not compare with that of countries such as China, there has been a steady growth in recent years and the government continues its attempt to attract investors and further stimulate economic growth.

In recent year, the government has been relaxing its bureaucratic rules, particularly those relating to foreign investment. From 1981 to 1991, total foreign direct investment in India increased by $250 million, and between 1991 to 1993, it jumped by an additional $2.5 billion. In 2008, foreign direct investment exceeded $3 billion and is projected to grow by 7 percent in 2009.

For a number of reasons, India is attractive to multinationals especially to United States and British firms. Many Indian people speak English and are very well educated and are known for advanced information technology expertise. Also, the Indian government is providing funds for economic development. For example, India is expanding its telecommunication system and increasing the number of phone lines fivefold, a market that AT&T is vigorously pursuing that is why there are many frustrations remain in doing business in India.

During the 1980s, China’s average annual real economic growth was about 10 percent. From 1990 to 1995 GDP maintained this spectacular rate of growth, and in year 2000, despite a severe economic downturn in the late nineties by its Asian neighbours, the awakened giant China reported an annual GDP growth of 8 percent.

Despite being catch up in the economic problems facing by all Asian, China continues to attract foreign investment. At the same time, China remains political risk for investors. The one country which had two systems (communism and capitalism) is a delicate balance to maintain, a foreign business are often caught in the middle. Most MNC’s company found it difficult to do business in and with China during that time, and many of them have yet to make profit.

Today, following China’s reform and opening-up, the non-public owned economic sector has gradually grown up, in the gap left between the state-owned and foreign-funded economic sectors. While reforms in state-owned enterprises, state-owned banks, and the government are still at a halfway point, the Chinese economy has advanced by leaps and bounds. In addition, they also have rich experience accumulated over their long period of development. Economists believe that when their interests are balanced and guaranteed, they will perform even better.



Brazil, officially Federative Republic of Brazil is one of the countries in South Africa. Brazil is the largest country in South Africa which is the only Portuguese speaking country in that continent. From the aspect of population, it is the fifth most populous country in the world which estimate occupying around 192,098,152 people and also the fifth biggest country by geographical area with 8,514,877 km2.

As being the new emergence of “Golden BRIC” countries, Brazil is well-known with its good and large developed agricultural, manufacturing, mining, and service sectors. Now, Brazil is outperforming over other countries in South Africa and continues to expand its presence in the world marketplaces.

From the view of economic, Brazil is getting better as time passed. Brazil’s economy is contributed by agriculture, industry and services. Economic of Brazil is in the stage of booming can be related to the global commodities prices hike as it exports the beef as well as soybeans. Brazil is an export-oriented economy and has a moderate free market.

Brazil’s GDP was recorded at $1.998 trillion in year 2008 which grew from S1.901 trillion in year 2007 and $1.798 trillion in year 2006. It is 10th largest GDP amount recorded in the world. From the past years, Brazil was having trade surpluses during the year 2003 to year 2007. Productivity gains in agricultural sector which couple with raise commodity prices was contributing to the export activity. Besides that, Brazil is becoming one of the countries with strong growth in the GDP-per capita (PPP) from year 2000 to year 2009. From the data gathered, in term of GDP-per capita (PPP) we can say that Brazil is growing with stable.

Graph 1: The GDP-real growth rate (%)


GDP – real growth rate (%)





















Table 1: Brazil GDP real growth rate (%)

Source: CIA World Factbook

From the above table, Brazil is having a stable growth since year 2005 with average 4.32% of growth rate. The Brazil GDP composition by sector is divided by agriculture 6.7%, industry 28% and services 65.3%. The agriculture sector in Brazil is mainly contributed by the production of coffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus and also the beef while the contribution of industries sector in Brazil is the textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor vehicle and parts. In the conjunction of GDP growth, the GDP per capital (PPP) is also keep on rising from the year 2000 to year 2009. In Brazil, the GDP per capita (PPP) is recorded at USD9400 in year 2009 which grew from the only USD 6150 in year 2000. By comparing to the world ranking of GDP per capita (PPP), Brazilian is still on the way to improve. It is ranked at 102th in the world GDP per capita (PPP). The trade balance performance of Brazil is also relative strong which having surplus of USD24.8 billion. In year 2008, Brazil exported a total value of USD197.9 billion while imported USD 173.1 billion.

Industry sector in Brazil is playing an important role in GDP growth with accounting for 28% of GDP and representing the second largest industrial sector in Americas. The industry sector in Brazil had achieved an 8.8% growth rate in year 2008 which mainly contributed by automobile industry, petrochemicals, aircraft and so on.


Exports (Billion $)










197.9Export Import


Imports (Billion $)











Table 2 ¼šExport and Import value in billion $ of Brazil.

Brazil’s export activities are expanding largely and majority involved with the exporting of aircraft, coffee, soybean, automobiles, iron ore, orange juice, beef and also electrical equipment. In year 2008, Brazil’s main goods and service importer were Latin America (25.9%), followed by EU (23.4%), Asia (18.9%), United State (14%) and others (17.8%).

The Brazil’s currency, Brazilian Real (BRL, R$) was introduced on 1st July 1994 as one of the strategy to stabilize the Brazil economy. Brazil had decided to peg its currency, Brazilian real (BRL, R$) to USD in year 1994. As the beginning stage, the Real is appreciated against the USD which resulted by the large capital inflows in late 1994 and 1995 but turn to depreciate in year 1999 after January Brazilian currency crisis. It comes to managed-float scheme after East Asian Financial which caused series of financial adverse effect to it. However, the Brazilian real is finally goes to free-float in January 1999. The depreciation continued until late 2002 and reached historic low at near R$ 4 : USD 1. Soon, the Brazil central bank president Arminio Fraga announced the assurances and introduced orthodox macroeconomic policies which will help the real back to the performance. The real has been getting performed better and better against the US dollar in the beginning of 2005.


Russia’s economy saw the nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) double, climbing from 22nd to 11th largest in the world. The economy made real gains of an average 7% per year (2000: 10%, 2001: 5.7%, 2002: 4.9%, 2003: 7.3%, 2004: 7.2%, 2005: 6.5%, 2006: 7.7%, 2007: 8.1%, 2008: 5.6%), making it the 6th largest economy in the world in GDP(PPP). In 2007, Russia’s GDP exceeded that of 1990, meaning it has overcome the devastating consequences of the Soviet era, 1998 financial crisis, and preceding recession in the 1990s. On a per capita basis, Russian GDP was US$11,339 per individual in 2008, making Russians 57th richest on both a purchasing power and nominal basis.

During Putin’s eight years in office, industry grew by 75%, investments increased by 125%, and agricultural production and construction increased as well. Real incomes more than doubled and the average salary increased eightfold from $80 to $640. The volume of consumer credit between 2000-2006 increased 45 times, and during that same time period, the middle class grew from 8 million to 55 million, an increase of 7 times. The number of people living below the poverty line also decreased from 30% in 2000 to 14% in 2008.

Inflation remained a problem however, as the government failed to contain the growth of prices.1999-2007 inflation was kept at the forecast ceiling only twice, and in 2007 the inflation exceeded that of 2006, continuing an upward trend at the beginning of 2008.

The Russian economy is still commodity-driven despite its growth. Payments from the fuel and energy sector in the form of customs duties and taxes accounted for nearly half of the federal budget’s revenues. The large majority of Russia’s exports are made up by raw materials and fertilizers, although exports as a whole accounted for only 8.7% of the GDP in 2007, compared to 20% in 2000.

There is also a growing gap between rich and poor in Russia. 2000-2007 the incomes of the rich grew from approximately 14 times to 17 times larger than the incomes of the poor. The income differentiation ratio shows that the 10% of Russia’s rich live increasingly better than the 10% of the poor, amongst who are mostly pensioners and unskilled workers in depressive regions.

Russia ended 2005 with its seventh straight year of growth, averaging 6.4% annually since the financial crisis of 1998. Although high oil prices and relatively cheap rubble are important drivers of this economic rebound, since 2000 investment and consumer-driven demand have played a noticeably increasing role. Real fixed capital investments have averaged gains greater than 10% over the last five years, and real personal incomes have realized average increases over 12%. During this time, poverty has declined steadily and the middle class has continued to expand. Russia has also improved its international financial position since the 1998 financial crisis, with its foreign debt declining from 90% of GDP to around 31%. Strong oil export earnings have allowed Russia to increase its foreign reserves from only $12 billion to some $180 billion at yearend 2005. These achievements, along with a renewed government effort to advance structural reforms, have raised business and investor confidence in Russia’s economic prospects. Nevertheless, serious problems persist. Economic growth slowed to 5.9% for 2005 while inflation remains high. Oil, natural gas, metals, and timber account for more than 80% of exports, leaving the country vulnerable to swings in world prices. Russia’s manufacturing base is dilapidated and must be replaced or modernized if the country is to achieve broad-based economic growth. Other problems include a weak banking system, a poor business climate that discourages both domestic and foreign investors, corruption, and widespread lack of trust in institutions. In addition, a string of investigations launched against a major Russian oil company, culminating with the arrest of its CEO in the fall of 2003 and the acquisition of the company by a state owned firm, have raised concerns by some observers that President PUTIN is granting more influence to forces within his government that desire to reassert state control over the economy. State control has increased in the past year with a number of large acquisitions. Most fundamentally, Russia has made little progress in building the rule of law, the bedrock of a modern market economy.


India, officially the Republic of India is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area; the figure includes 120,849 km2 (46,660 sq mi) of disputed territories with Pakistan and China. India was also the third-largest country in Asia (after Russia and China). On the population side, it is the second-most populous country with an estimated population of 1.2 billion, and it is the most populous democracy in the world. India is a republic consisting of 28 states and seven union territories with a parliamentary system of democracy. It has the world’s twelfth largest economy at market exchange rates and the fourth largest in purchasing power under a list of countries on their gross domestic product (GDP) that the market value of all final goods and services from a nation in a given year. The GDP dollar estimates presented are calculated at market or government official exchange rates. India economic reforms since year 1991 have transformed it into one of the fastest growing economies.

With 1.2 billion people, India is currently the world’s second largest country. India is currently home to about 1.2 billion people. When India gained independence from the United Kingdom sixty years ago, the country’s population was a mere 350 million. Since 1947, the population of India has more than tripled. India occupies 2.4% of the world’s land area and supports over 17.5% of the world’s population. India has more arable land area than any country except the United States, and more water area than any country except Canada and the United States. Indian life therefore revolves mostly around agriculture and allied activities in small villages, where the overwhelming majority of Indians live. As per the 2001 census, 72.2% of the population lives in about 638,000 villages and the remaining 27.8% lives in more than 5,100 towns and over 380 urban agglomerations. India is home to the third-largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia & Pakistan.

Subject Descriptor














GDP per capita







GDP based on

(PPP) valuation

of country GDP









GDP based on

(PPP) per capita

















Table 1

India’s GDP was US$1.206 trillion in year 2008, which makes it the twelfth-largest economy in the world or fourth largest by purchasing power adjusted exchange rates. India’s nominal per capita income US$1,068 is ranked 131st in the world compare to other countries around the world. In the late 2000s, India’s economic growth has averaged 7½% a year, which will double the average income in a decade. The table shows that India economy and population level keep growing from year 2006 to 2009. With an average annual GDP growth rate of 5.8% for the past two decades, the economy is among the fastest growing in the world. It has the world’s second largest labour force, with 516.3 million people. In terms of output, the agricultural sector accounts for 28% of GDP; the service and industrial sectors make up 54% and 18% respectively. Major agricultural products include rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry; fish. Major industries include textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transport equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software. The service sectors where government regulation has been eased significantly or is less burdensome – such as communications, insurance, asset management and information technology.


Export (USD, millions)

Import (USD, millions)







Table 2

India has more on import rather than export amount since 1985. Table shows that both import and export has keep increasing from year to year. Export increase from USD 14968.8 million to USD 17682.1 million, while its import increase from USD 24073.3 million to USD 25704.4 million. The balance of trade keeps on decrease from -9104.4 USD at year 2007 to -8022.3 USD at 2008. This shows not only Indian peoples have high quantity demand, but also shows there have increase in purchasing power and high development on every sector to increase output for export purpose. During year 2008, the main importers for India were Canada (20.1%), Mexico (11.7%), China (5.5%), Japan (5.1%) and Federal Republic of Germany (4.2%). While the main exporters for India was China (16.1%), Canada (16.0%), Mexico (10.3%), Japan (6.6%) and Federal Republic of Germany (4.6%).

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Despite India’s impressive economic growth over recent decades, it still contains the largest concentration of poor people in the world, and has a higher rate of malnutrition among children under the age of three (46% in year 2007) than any other country in the world. Poverty in India is widespread with the nation estimated to have a third of the world’s poor. The percentage of people living below the World Bank’s international poverty line of $1.25 a day (PPP, in nominal terms Rs. 21.6 a day in urban areas and Rs 14.3 in rural areas in 2005). However, there had represents a significant decline in poverty from 60 percent in 1981 to 42 percent in 2005.


China, which is also known as the People’s Republic of China, is among the largest countries in the world after Russia, Canada, and the United States. It is the country with the most population which is over 1.3 trillion. For centuries China stood as a leader in civilization, outdoing the rest of the nations in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the development of country was uphold by civil unrest, famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communists under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China’s independent, imposed firm controls over daily life of tens of millions of people. After the year 1978, MAO’s successor who is DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by year 2000, the output had quadrupled. Despite the huge amount of population, the living of standards has improved dramatically and the room for personal choice has expanded, yet political controls remain tight.

In term of economy, China’s is huge and expands rapidly. China’s economy during the past 30 years has changed from a centrally planned system that was largely closed to international trade to a more open market-oriented economy that has a rapidly growing private sector and is a major player in the global economy. In the last 10 years, China shows a tremendous rate of economic growth.


GDP (RMB, billion)

Real GDP growth (%)































Table 1

Based on the Table 1 shown above, the Chinese economic growth is marvellous, averaging 9.75% growth in gross domestic product (GDP) per annum for the last 10 years. The economy has grown more than 3 times during that period, with Chinese GDP reaching 30,067 billion RMB by 2008. The GDP compositions by sector are agriculture (11.3%), industry (48.6%) and services (40.1%). However, the GDP per capita (2008) of China is only RMB 40,965.90 ($ 6,000) and income per capita (2008) is valued at USD 3180, which are fairly poor when comparing to the global standards. In term of GDP per capita, China stands at a lowly 133rd place comparing to the rest of the world. As per capita income, it can’t really reflect the true average situation in China as the gap of wealth between the rich and the poor is big. China’s urban per capita disposable income in 2008 is RMB 15,781.0 and rural per capita net income is RMB 4761.0. Hence, we can observe that there is a big gap between the rich, who are in urban area, and the poor, who are in rural area.


Export (USD, trillion)

Import (USD)



904.6 billion



1.074 trillion

Table 2

China is considered as one of the major exporters in the world. It is ranked 3rd comparing to the world with export amount reached USD1.435 trillion in the year of 2008. The main importers from China are US (18.6%), Hong Kong (12.7%), Japan (8.2%), South Korea (5.1%), Germany (4.2%), and etc. On the other hand, the import of China is huge as well with import amount reaching USD1.074 trillion by year 2008. China is the fourth biggest importer comparing to the rest of the world. From the data shown in table 2, we can know that China is a net exporter in year 2008 with its export bigger than import. This is probably cause by an undervalued exchange rate and extremely low labour costs due to its huge population. Today, China has a population of 1.3 billion people, or about 4 times larger than the population of the United States. Compared with most other developing countries, the Chinese population has a much higher literacy rate (for example, China’s 91% versus India’s 61% according to the CIA World Fact Book). Besides having low cost unskilled labour, China has a huge reserve of highly skilled labour as well in order to produce goods and services which are to be exported. According to H-O theory, countries will export products that utilize their abundant and cheap factors of production and import products that utilize the countries’ scarce factors. Hence, China can make use of its relatively abundant factor, which is labour-abundant, to products goods and services for export purposes.

In the late 1970s, China has changed from a closed international trading system to a more open market system. As a result, it encouraged foreign investment and by the year of 2008, the net inflow of foreign direct investment into China is valued at USD138, 413 million. In recent years, China has mostly supported for leading state-owned companies in order to be competitive globally. After binding its currency tightly against USD for so many years, China re-valued its currency by 2.1% against the US dollar in July 2005 and moved to an exchange rate system which is based on a basket of currencies. Since the end of the US dollar peg, the RMB appreciated 20% more against USD by late 2008. However, the exchange rate has little changes since the outburst of global financial crisis.

The restructuring of the economy system and resulting efficiency gains have contributed to an increase in GDP since 1970s. In line with the Chinese government’s effort to prosper its nation economy, China faces numerous economic development challenges up until now, including: (a) strengthening its social safety net, including pension and health system reform, to counteract a high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic demand; (b) sustaining adequate job growth for tens of millions of migrants, new entrants to the work force, and workers laid off from state-owned enterprises deemed not worth saving; (c) reducing corruption and other economic crimes; and (d) containing environmental damage and social strife related to the economy’s rapid transformation. Economic development has been more rapid in coastal provinces comparing to the interior.

In late of 2008, the global economic downturn began to slow the foreign demand for Chinese exports. The government will keep on reforming the economy and emphasized the need to increase domestic consumption to make China less dependent on foreign exports for GDP growth in the future.

Business Expansion

In every developing nation, there will be an opportunity that offers great rewards if tapped and developed correctly. In a country like China and India, manufacturing and production powerhouses for their low costs of labour and ease of entry for foreign investors, a semiconductor, textile or any production company would likely to have good opportunities investing in these countries. Russia and Brazil are filled with natural resources and would be prominent suppliers of natural resources.

However, our company would like to not just profit from the foreign investment but at the same time give back to the nation. Thus with consideration given to the problems the nation faces and potential for the business, we’ve selected India to be our place of expansion.

India has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world, ever since its economic reform in 1991. Also with 1.2 billion people, India has the 2nd largest nation population in the world. CBSNews.com reports, in 2012, the world population will hit 7 billion and India will surpass China as the most populous country in the world. According to a report “India’s Rising Growth Potential” they estimate 700 million people will move into cities by 2050 thus increasing the demand for urban infrastructure, real estate and services. In fact, it is believed that from 2007 to 2020, India’s GDP will quadruple and overtake the United States by 2050.

The growth potential for India is extensive and companies that select the right business to run and develop in India will be rewarded greatly. Our company will be developing and selling hygiene and clean-up products and services to companies as well as tap into government based contracts.

Why India?

India among the 4 nations has the biggest problems in cleanliness. It is the one nation, where 1000 children under five, will die in India from diarrhoea, hepatitis causing pathogens as well as other sanitation related diseases according to the UN Children’s Fund. Some of the cases are almost ridiculous to listen to, such as girls dropping out from school when they reach puberty because of insufficient lavatories. UNICEF’s Clarissa Brocklehurst has said that India will not be able to reach its full economic potential unless something is done about the sanitation crisis. UNICEF goes on to note, compared to China, where an estimated 37 million defecate in the open, India has 655 million residents that will practice open defecation. And ironically, China has more people.

Brazil and Russia are nations that have pollution problems, but with the bulk of them, open defecation is not much of a problem. In Russia, the temperature is so cold the very idea of defecation outside very likely not that appealing. In Brazil, cleanliness is less of an issue as they even offer a spray hose for cleaning up after elimination of waste. In fact, South Americans think that North Americans are disgusting for not having a spray hose thus reflecting how cleanliness is much more of an importance to the Brazilians. For


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