BRICS CEOs Hold Business Summit at WKF wkf2011 l 2011.09.21

Artem Volynets, Paulo Cesar de Souza Silva, Andrei
Illarionov (left to right)

It has been a decade that the fresh term "BRICS" referring to four emerging economies - Brazil, Russia, India and China - first surfaced. For the past 10 years, the BRICS countries have been making a stunning progress. The proportion of the four countries in the global gross domestic product (GDP) jumped from 8.3% in 2001 to 17.4% in 2010. The aggregate GDP of the BRICS countries is expected to surpass that of the G8 countries by 2027. South Africa joined the group as the newest member, and gained the new name "BRICS" which represents a larger and stronger emerging economic bloc that leads the global economy. Now the BRICS group is forecast to account for 30% of the global GDP in 2015. Meanwhile, the BRICS is raising its political and economic voices in the international community by holding the BRICS Summit since 2009. The group has gained a bigger say on international issues as its stake holdings in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ranked in the top 10 list after the G20 Seoul Summit last year. This year, BRICS leaders are arguing for a new key currency to replace the U.S. dollar. Some predict the BRICS will develop into an even stronger economic bloc than the G8 nations.

However, not everyone paints a rosy picture for the future of the BRICS. Some experts forecast that the BRICS countries could face an economic crisis in the near future, due to chronic problems like inflation and income inequality. Risk factors such as unfairly expensive housing prices that exceed individual incomes, overestimated real estate markets, soaring corporate and national debt due to excess investments, and low productivity are rampant in each member country of the BRICS group.

The 12th World Knowledge Forum will offer a session on the emerging world titled as "The BRICS Decade: The Past and the Future" from 15:20 to 16:40 at Vista Hall on Wednesday, October 12th. This session touches on how the BRICS will develop in the future with insights from each member country`s CEOs. A number of representative business CEOs and economists from the BRICS countries are set to attend the session as speakers to discuss whether the RRICS will be able to replace the existing group of advanced countries in the foreseeable future. The speakers will throw questions like "will the BRICS economy keep growing in the future?", "do the BRICS nations reflect other emerging nations?", "will other emerging nations follow the steps of the BRICS?", "when will the BRICS become an advanced economy?", "if so, what can be expected from them?" and "will the BRICS Summit replace the G8, becoming a strong international political organization?"

Attention-grabbing speaker for the BRICS session is Artem Volynets, CEO of En+ Group, the most diversified resource and energy company in Russia. En+ Group is making aggressive efforts in advancing into Asia. It promotes cooperation with Korea Resources Corporation (KORES) to explore into iron mines in Siberia. CEO Volynets has been sparing no effort to foster En+ as a global leader of the mining and energy fields since he took office in December 2010. He has a broad international experience in strategy consulting and mergers and acquisition (M&A) and is also known as the most respected CEO in Russia. On behalf of Brazil, Paulo C�sar de Souza Silva, Executive Vice President of Embraer, the third largest aircraft manufacturer in the world after Boeing and Airbus, will fly for the WKF. Embraer is a small and medium-size aircraft builder with 96.4% of its sales coming from exports. Its heavy reliance on exports implies that it is a global corporation living up to its name and epitomizes Brazil`s technological prowess.

Andrei Illarionov, former economic adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin will be leading the session as a moderator. He is an ardent liberal market economist who publicly criticized the controversial nationalization of Russian oil giant YUKOS and arrest of founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 2004. "The conflict has shown that Russia`s energy trade is politically motivated," Illarionov said, even daring to make statements against the Russian government that was going in the opposite direction of a liberal economic policy.


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