Despite their meteoric economic ascent, the BRICs are not created equal when it comes to energy — and that's abundantly clear this summer.
The BRIC world divides starkly between the “haves” and “the have nots," and look for this this factor, more than any other, to define the growth of the Brazilian, Russian, Indian and Chinese economies in the future.
The Russian Federation is a “have,” vying for top billing with leading OPEC oil producer Saudi Arabia. Many economists have speculated on the long-term effects that relying too heavily on energy exports will have on the Russian economy, but for the moment, oil and natural gas exports pay the bills.
Brazil is in transition, having last year, for the first time in its history, become a net energy exporter. It is unclear at present how much Brazil’s massive offshore southern Atlantic oil and natural gas fields will eventually contribute to the country’s “bottom line,” given the billions of dollars needed to develop and tap the resource.
China and India, both net energy importers, represent the paradigms of what seems to be the 21st century incipient economic clash — China’s authoritarian “managed capitalism” model versus India’s shambolic but undeniably successful freewheeling capitalism.
And reliable energy supplies are a good barometer.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page