Brics or Pickt, we must keep pushing

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Brics or Pickt, we must keep pushing

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“The age of the Brics is over, and the era of Pickt is coming!” You have heard of Brics, an acronym referring to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, but do you have any idea what Pickt means? Well, of course not. I just came up with it. I arbitrarily put together the initials of the five countries that Ruchir Sharma, managing director at Morgan Stanley, touted out as “breakout nations.”

Sharma is a well-known figure in the investment and financial field in the United States. He has been working for Morgan Stanley’s emerging markets division for 20 years. Earlier in April, he published a book titled “Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles.” Global investors have shown great interest in this book and last weekend the Financial Times featured a lengthy review of it.

As the growth rate of the Brics slows down, global investors are already looking elsewhere. And the book came out just in time. Sharma picked five countries - Korea, Indonesia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Turkey - as the next emerging economies. I put together the first letters to come up with Pickt.

Sharma named Korea the “gold medalist” of the next economic powers. Korea’s per capita gross domestic product is already $20,000 to $25,000, and Korea is expected to emerge as a new economic power based on its manufacturing industry with the power of global brands. He also considers the North Korean variable as a plus factor. If the collapse of the regime does occur, Sharma said Korea may be faced with tremendous economic opportunities.

Since the Brics was first mentioned, various acronyms have been coined to refer to groups of emerging economies. Mexico, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nigeria and South Africa make Mavins, and the Next Eleven is comprised of the Mavins plus Korea, Turkey, the Philippines, Pakistan and Bangladesh. There was a forecast that MIKT - Mexico, Indonesia, Korea and Turkey, - would replace the Brics.

Anyhow, it is pleasant to hear these rosy forecasts. We may be underestimating our own potential. But a forecast is nothing more than a prediction. We shouldn’t be too self-complacent and rely on the evaluations of others. It is important that we don’t let our foot off the gas pedal. We must keep moving forward and strive for further economic growth. After all, the future belongs to the ones who constantly prepare and endeavour.

The author is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

by Bae Myung-bok

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