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New Issue of International Affairs Forum: Professor Robert M. Stern, Goldman School, UC-Berkeley
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In this interview with Professor Stern, he presents an analysis of the BRICS countries’ abilities to recover from their recent economic downturns. He also discusses the World Trade Organization’s efforts, regional inequalities and multinational company labor.

International Affairs Forum: After an impressive run of economic growth, the BRICS countries have experienced a downturn. Along with capital flight that has impacted all the countries, China is dealing with weak annual expansion, India's rupee has fallen, Russia's economy has slowed, and Brazil is experiencing poor growth and rising inflation. What is your prognosis for the BRICS to move forward and achieve - or approach - the success envisioned by many just a few years ago?

Professor Robert M. Stern: The slowdown in the BRICS countries is due to a combination of a fall in external demand for exports to the major industrialized countries – U.S., EU, and Japan – together with some purely domestic factors in the individual countries. After several years of unusually high rates of growth, China has been coping with significant inflationary pressures and credit expansion, which have motivated the central bank to take measures to restrain lending and prevent a housing bubble from getting out of control. The decline in India’s exports to the industrialized countries has come in the wake of the need to control inflation and to deal with the rising government debt. Russia has been hampered by a slowdown in the external demand for its major commodity exports together with some policy constraints that have limited foreign direct investment inflows and the incentives for expansion of its manufacturing sector. Since Brazil is a major commodity exporter, its growth has been diminished by the slowdown in external demand and currency appreciation at the same time there is a variety of government policies in effect that have made it difficult for its manufacturing to expand and for domestic consumption to be sustained. (continued...)

Read the rest of the interview and many more essays and interviews in the latest issue of International Affairs Forum (Taylor & Francis)

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