Douglas Carswell

18 FEB 2013

The way back to wealthy

According to official data, we Brits sold £27 billion of exports last year to Brazil, India, China, Russia and South Africa.  That is more than double the £12 billion that we sold those countries in 2007, when the credit crunch began.

These so-called BRICS now account for more than 5 percent of total UK exports.

Impressive? Yes, but we probably could have done even better. If UK exports to the BRICS more than doubled over that five year period, the BRIC economies themselves expanded at about that rate, too.

Ever since the Brownian bubble burst, we have got used to bad economic news. Yet out there beyond the West, the economic news has been extraordinarily good.

Tens of millions of people have joined the global economy, rising out of poverty, in Asia and Africa.

The real economic news of our time is not Europe's great stagnation. It is the rise of a new consumer class in those nations we once called "under developed". If we in Britain are able to trade with this new consumer class, we will prosper.

Our economy can no longer be fuelled by buckets of cheap credit and unsustainable consumer demand. What we need is cheaper energy instead. And lower non-wage labour costs. We also need a new deal with Europe so that UK firms looking to export to the BRICS are not forced to comply with red tape introduced to facilitate trade with Belgium.

Some economists talk about endless years of stagnation and declining living standards.  This latest export data tells us that things don't have to be that way - provided we are prepared to adapt to the emerging world as it is, not as it used to be.   

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