Dr. Dan Steinbock, an expert in international business, international relations, investment and risk, delivered the talk “The Philippines and the BRICs: Scenarios for Economic, Political and Strategic Cooperation” at the Ambassador Francisco L. Benedicto Room, Foreign Service Institute, on 28 November 2014.
According to Dr. Steinbock, Asia could be considered the major driver of growth in the coming decades. Asia had less exposure to global shocks, as shown by the modest effects of the 2008 global crisis on the region because of strong domestic demand and consumption and reduced dependence on imports.
The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) economies, meanwhile, will have higher GDP than the G6 in the next 40 years if its large demography, strong capital accumulation, and steady productivity growth are maintained. Dr. Steinbock warned of implications for this forecasted growth such as shifts in political, military, and economic powers to Asia, reshaping of financial institutions and regional networks, and changes in consumption and production patterns.
For the Philippines, there is a possible six-percent-plus growth in the medium term, but persistent challenges, such as frequent natural and man-made disasters and consistently weak business climate, hamper job creation which discourages foreign investments. To sustain growth and eventually achieve BRICS status economically, Dr. Steinbock reiterated the consideration of “zero problems policy” (as promoted by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu) and getting other actors to respect the country’s values to achieve “zero problems.” He further cited the efforts of the U.S. and China in rebalancing to Asia in terms of trade, security, and diplomacy as drivers of growth.