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Indonesia argues for BRIC status

Economic powerhouses: Brazil, Russia, India, China… and Indonesia?
Winn indo jakarta 2011 02 23Enlarge
Indonesian boys practice football skills in the space between railway tracks in Jakarta on February 16, 2011. (BAY ISMOYO)

Just weeks after South Africa joins the BRIC club, bringing the emerging economy gang up to five nations, debate is flaring over which country is the next best candidate for BRIChood.

A poll of 100 major investors suggests Turkey should be the next member.

But Indonesia, the world's fourth-largest nation and 18th-largest economy, is really the "solid pick," according to the Jakarta Globe.

The case for Indonesia goes like this: it's projecting 6.5 percent economic growth as opposed to Turkey's 4.5 percent. It would be the first Muslim-majority member, though Turkey could make the same claim. It's a politically stable oil power.

The case against? Indonesia is still slowed by messy bureaucracy and entrenched corruption. Analysts quoted in the Jakarta Globe identified this as the major setback reigning in faster growth in the sprawling archipelago.

And, as this BBC report notes, its growth is propelled by "giant enterprises that remain in a few hands." And alongside that stellar growth, Indonesia is weighed down by oppressive poverty.

Admittance to the China-leg BRIC club would signal that Indonesia had "arrived." Regardless of what BRIC members decide, the Indonesian government has set its own goal: to lift itself out of "developing world" status and break into the top 10 global economies by 2025.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/asia-pacific/indonesia-argues-bric-status

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