Foreword: Growth and Sustainability in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa


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Sustained growth in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa will be critical for the global economy in the coming decades. This volume, based on the proceedings of a conference organised by the Economics Department of the OECD on 24 September 2009, analyses growth performance in these five emerging market economies and the prospects for sustaining strong growth over the longer term. Drawing on contributions from distinguished policymakers and scholars, the volume discusses the specific drivers of growth in each of the five countries with which the OECD has had a programme of Enhanced Engagement since May 2007.

Although a number of commonalities can be identified, different aspects of the growth process in each individual country are brought to the fore. They include a reduction of external vulnerability in Brazil, the contribution of human and physical capital accumulation to growth in China and Indonesia, initiatives to promote infrastructure and social development in India and financial deepening in South Africa.

While recognising that country specific policy settings, preferences and needs should be taken into account, the policy considerations highlighted in this volume emphasise a number of common challenges for all five countries, including a need for further structural reform in areas ranging from product market regulations to social policies. Such reforms could help lift productivity growth in a durable manner and ensure that the benefits of strong growth can be shared more equitably. In some cases, policy action would also be necessary to rebalance growth towards domestic sources in countries where net exports have been an important driver of growth.


A better understanding of the experiences of Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa can enrich the debate on the policy levers that can be used to sustain strong growth in emerging market economies in the years to come. This volume provides a very valuable contribution in this regard.

Angel Gurría
Secretary General

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