New Catalysts for Change
Pavilion 4, Conference Hall 4.3

The BRICS economies already account for more than 25% of global GDP and the collective middle class for these emerging powers is expected to grow from 800 million in 2010 to over 1.6 billion by 2020. This phenomenal rise in economic, and increasingly political, clout, is not only impacting key macro-economic factors such as access to commodities, capital flows, resource management, and purchasing power, but it is also redefining political dialogue, social welfare systems, education, and culture on a global scale. How are business and governments having to readjust strategies and assumptions given the shifting demands and expectations of this increasingly powerful demographic trend?

Charles Robertson , Global Chief Economist, Renaissance Capital

Chandrajit Banerjee , Director General, CII
Sergei Borisov , Vice President for Small Businesses Development, Sberbank
Sergey Katyrin , President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation
George Magnus , Senior Economic Adviser, UBS Investment Bank; Author, ‘Uprising’
Hu Shuli , Editor-in-Chief, Caixin Media Company


Key moments

The urbanization of the population is important to expand the middle class.
Hu Shuli
The middle class will increase to 500 million people by 2020 – this is a big number and a big target.
Chandrajit Banerjee
What happens to the development of the middle class really depends on what happens politically in terms of the development of constructive, strong government institutions – the right balance between the role of the state and the role of the private sector.
George Magnus
I believe the future of Russia’s middle class largely depends on the rapid development of small and medium-sized business.
Sergei Borisov
In many respects, the middle class will be the dominant power determining political and economic decision-making not only in Russia, but in the other BRICS countries as well – and maybe even beyond.
Sergei Katyrin
We stand at the cusp of a huge potential to have a much, much more prosperous world in the next twenty years as more and more people potentially can become a so-called middle class in terms of rising income.
George Magnus