STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
Let's talk about another way the world is changing. Some emerging economies are becoming more and more influential. And leaders of the world's four big emerging economies held their own summit yesterday in Russia. It was the first official meeting of the so-called BRIC group - B-R-I-C, that's Brazil, Russia, India and China. These are the new rising stars of the global economy, and as NPR's Tom Gjelten reports, they are determined to make their voices heard.
TOM GJELTEN: It's no accident the first BRIC summit was held in Russia. President Dmitri Medvedev and other Russian leaders are anxious to challenge Western domination of the world economy. In remarks after the meeting, Medvedev championed the countries who haven't previously been well-represented in global financial institutions.
INSKEEP: (Foreign language spoken)
GJELTEN: It was an economist for Goldman Sachs, Jim O'Neill, who lumped the four countries together several years ago and gave them a distinctive acronym. Speaking on his cell phone from a London taxicab yesterday, O'Neil sounded quite pleased that the leaders of Brazil, Russia, China and India had finally recognized their own importance.
GJELTEN: I'm very proud of the fact that these guys are all meeting together. It's quite exciting.
GJELTEN: Do you think there would even be a BRIC summit if you had not identified this group and given it a name?
GJELTEN: That's a very good question. I don't know, actually. I've not really thought about it. I guess probably not.
GJELTEN: Names matter in this world, at least for purposes of symbolism. All four countries have enjoyed spectacular economic growth in recent years but Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Consulting Group, says the BRIC countries are united less by what they are than by what they are not.
GJELTEN: They are generally not a part of the developed world that created and led the international institutions that guide geoeconomic decision making.
GJELTEN: Ian Bremmer points out that the global economic crisis seems generally to have produced less international cooperation, not more.
GJELTEN: I'm talking to you today from Detroit. America's policy agenda today is subsumed completely with what's happening within the United States economically. And if that's true in the United States, it's double-y and triple-y true in other countries around the world.
GJELTEN: But another consequence of the crisis has been a rearrangement of the international financial order. Some countries will emerge stronger, some weaker. Jim O'Neill of Goldman Sachs places China among the winners.
GJELTEN: I think it's been a fantastic crisis for China.
GJELTEN: The collapse of their export markets has forced the Chinese to reorient their economy more to domestic consumption, and that shift should provide a more stable foundation from here on. O'Neil credits the Chinese leaders for seeing the crisis as an opportunity to make changes they knew were necessary.
GJELTEN: I think the response of this global crisis has been incredibly impressive.
GJELTEN: Tom Gjelten, NPR News, Washington.
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