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Emergence of Large Developing Countries: Implications for Co-Developing Countries [2006/09]

Project Team: Dr. Nagesh Kumar, Dr. S.K. Mohanty and Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi along with researchers in Brazil, China and South Africa

The last decade has seen continued growth in the South-South trade and investment linkages. The share of South-South trade in global trade increased from 34 per cent in 1990 to around 43 per cent by the end of the decade and it is growing at a rate of 10 per cent per year, which is more than twice that of the recorded rate of growth in global trade. Such unprecedented growth in South-South trade may be viewed against the trend of the last few decades whereby developing countries have built up substantial industrial-technological capabilities which in turn provided scope for exploiting synergies among themselves by sharing of knowledge and technologies on the one hand and investment on the other. In particular, the emergence of large countries in the developing world such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa (henceforth emerging economies) has created new avenues for South-South Cooperation while also creating some apprehensions. This study maps the role of emerging countries in the development of developing countries with special reference to Africa. In particular, the study begins by documenting the rise of emerging economies and their growing importance in terms of various parameters of the global economy and integration. Then it examines the importance of emerging economies as markets for developing countries, and their emergence thereafter as sources of investments and technology. Finally, the study discusses the role that emerging economies are playing and may play in shaping the global economic architecture including the world trading system, thereby making it more development-friendly. The study will conclude with some broad lessons for international development policy that could facilitate a fuller exploitation of the potential of such cooperation between emerging economies and other developing countries especially in Africa. The study has been undertaken with the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat, London. The initial drafts of study were presented and discussed at an International Workshop on the subject organised by the RIS and the Commonwealth Secretariat in New Delhi in June 2007. The revised drafts are being issued as discussion papers. RIS plans to publish the output of the project in the form of a volume in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat, London.