British Council-The BRIC countries

British Council-The BRIC countries

British Council-The BRIC countries


Transcript of the podcast

Bob-Managing Director Dawn–Finance Director Dave–Innovation Director

Bob: Dawn, Dave, thanks for coming to this meeting to talk about something that I think is very important

Dave: It’s good to be here

Dawn: I agree, these are important issues

Bob: Can you both fill me in on developments in the BRIC countries? Dawn, you first

Dawn: Here we’re talking about Brazil, Russia, India and China. John O’Neill of Goldmann Sachs in London recently wrote an influential report on the future of these four countries

Bob: What were the key messages of the report

Dawn: It’s common knowledge that the economies of all four countries are developing at incredible speed at the moment

Dave: Yes, Russia has become a major player on the world’s energy markets, India’s IT companies are now recruiting amongst the best of the west’s IT graduates, Chinese industry is quickly moving upwards in the value chain away from low value goods to higher end products such as cars, car parts, electronic and computer components, just as Japan did in the fifties. We’re now waiting for Chinese brands to go global as Fuji, Sony and the like did from Japan

Dawn: Brazil is now a major supplier of industrial raw materials to China. China is investing heavily to improve Brazil’s transport infrastructure to facilitate the rapid export of these goods. China is buying increasing amounts of food from Brazil

Bob: Sure, what sorts of things could go wrong

Dawn: Energy supplies are a problem for China, Chinese energy imports are the main driver behind recent spikes in oil prices. There’s an increasing possibility of drought in the north of the country which could threaten food production, the political situation has been quiet for some time now, in the cities at least, but a downturn in the economy could threaten this. These are just a few of the things that could go wrong

Bob: OK, I see, the situation may change and these predictions may not be 100% correct

Dawn: That’s correct

Bob: Thanks. One question – where’s Africa in all of this

Dave: Good question Bob. These predictions are based on what’s happening in the world today. African countries have a couple of major of problems. Today in many African countries rates of HIV infection are very high. Many young Africans who should be in work helping these economies to develop are ill and aren’t able to contribute. The second problem – more money needs to be spent on improving the education systems of African countries

Bob: Are there any signs of things improving

Dave: Well some countries such as Uganda have been successful at reducing rates of HIV infection. And did you know oil reserves have been found in Chad recently

Bob: No, I hadn’t heard about that

Dave: Well, oil has been found there. New oil reserves have been found in West Africa too. If these discoveries continue some African countries may well join Brazil, Russia, India and China


True or False Sentence
T The economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China are developing very quickly
F Brazil is a major player on the world’s energy market
F China only produces low value goods
T Brazil is selling increasing amounts of food to China
T China has limited energy supplies
F Rates of HIV infection are decreasing all over Africa
F Oil has been discovered in Uganda
T Some countries from Africa may join the BRIC countries
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