The economic turndown has cast some doubt on the rise of the so-called BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China. Especially Russia, in spite of President Dmitri Medvedev’s pledge to modernize, is still in deep trouble while analysts warn that inflation could hamper the recovery of emerging markets in Asia. Others expects cracks to develop within the BRICs. Brazil’s growth, for instance, might be much more sustainable due to sound economic policies and the abundance of resources.
There is reason to be optimistic for East Asia nevertheless. Katie Baker reports for Newsweek that the region far outperforms Europe and the United States, with China leading the rebound. This year, the Middle Kingdom is expected to enjoy a 10 percent growth while India, Taiwan and Vietnam follow with similarly impressive figures.
Driving the East’s recovery are its rapidly bourgeoning domestic markets. “Throughout the slump, household spending has held up well in China,” writes Baker, “thanks to tax breaks and Cash for Clunkers-type schemes.” In India and Indonesia, consumer confidence has already returned to pre-recession levels, “and retail sales growth remains strong thanks to rising incomes, low personal debt, and high household savings.”
Add to that the continued demand for cheap products from Asia and the investments that flow back to the West, and there is ample reason to presume that the twenty-first century will indeed turn out to be an Asian one.