What is it about?

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) has 40 percent of the world population and shares 20 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This paper seeks to evaluate business opportunities with the BRICS for Canadian businesses through a framework of global competitiveness. Global competitiveness is tracked over a 16-year period to evaluate each nation’s sustainability. Growth trends are compared over four 4-year periods between the BRICS and Canada. The results show nine areas of potential business, and identified China as the most viable partner for a more sustainable growth. The limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are then proposed.

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Why is it important?

This research is important because there there is a gap in formal studies to identify types of trade between Canada and BRICS. The research approaches business between BRICS and Canada by identifying strengths and weaknesses of each nation's global competitiveness. Canada can help BRICS overcome specific areas of weakness where Canada has the strengths, and vice-versa. The global competitiveness data provides ranking in measures such as governance, finance, education and technology of a nation. These measures provide an objective guide to determining the areas of business where one country can meet the needs of another.


The publication of this paper gives me great pleasure with the collaboration of a co-author who is an expert in economics. This paper is unique as it approaches global competitiveness data, the domain of economists, from the perspective of a marketer. I am thankful to the Transnational Corporations Review for recognizing the value of this research to help Canadian businesses identify market opportunities with other nations, in this case the BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Trading between nations largely depends on trade missions, personal connections and immigrant entrepreneurship. While these efforts are commendable and should continue, how else can we capture opportunities that may exist but not identified? How can we be sure that we have a comprehensive framework to analyze and identify business opportunities between nations? Economists and other research groups tend to study the BRICS focused on issues such as poverty reduction, pollution and human rights to propose policy. Global competitiveness data has also been used by ruling parties to garner votes or by opposition to attack the government. If nations were to analyze the data to identify business opportunities, they would advance and enhance their global competitiveness. Business leaders who study global competitiveness data could advocate policies to expand global markets, highlighting indicators that need improvement to attract investors and build a competitive advantage. For example, this research reveals Canada’s strengths over the BRICS and thus, Canada can market products and services to the BRICS related to infrastructure, education, financial market sophistication, labour market efficiency, technology and business sophistication.

Mark Loo
Concordia University of Edmonton

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Global competitiveness of BRICS and Canada: implications for business, Transnational Corporation Review, May 2019, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/19186444.2019.1615360.
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