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“We’re not taking anything away from the Brics but we have to remember that there’s huge growth in the world economy in other countries and tremendous trade prospects,” Hague said in an interview to the UK’s Telegraph.
“So far the biggest expansion of our diplomatic network with a view to promoting this country’s prosperity has been in India and China,” Hague said, admitting the growing importance of the two biggest BRICS members.
UK’s burgeoning trade with BRICS is manifest in its export figures- UK exports to BRICS rose from £12.7 billion in 2007 to £27.1 billion in 2012, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The BRICS in 2012 accounted for 5.56 per cent of total UK exports.
Jim O’Neill, former chairman of Goldman Sachs, said in March this year that western economies still underestimate the growth trajectory of the BRICS, where he said the future of UK exports lie.
In its latest world outlook report, however, the IMF predicted an average growth of 4.5 per cent year-on-year in 2013 for emerging markets, down from an estimate of 5.0 per cent growth three months earlier.
Georgy Toloraya, executive director, BRICS National Research Committee, Russia says in spite of the current turbulence in the domestic markets of the BRICS nations, they are still one of the biggest contributors to the world economy.
“It is certainly the right of British exporters to explore as many markets as they can. However, in today’s competitive global marketplace a possible niche at the huge BRICS market (especially while the Chinese industrial and consumer imports is growing fast) won’t be left void and could be taken by Britain’s competitors if there is a lack of attention to the existing positions,” Toloraya told The BRICS Post.
Meanwhile, the British Finance Minister on a five-day visit to China has stated that no country in the west is as open to investment from China as the United Kingdom.
The BRICS Post