The BRICS Wealth report: Challenging the Global economic order

The total investable wealth currently held in the BRICS bloc amounts to USD 45 trillion and its millionaire population is expected to rise by 85% over the next 10 years, according to the inaugural BRICS Wealth Report, published by international investment migration advisory firm Henley & Partners in partnership with global wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth.

There are currently 1.6 million individuals with investable assets of over USD 1 million in the grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, including 4,716 centi-millionaires or ‘centis’ (with more than USD 100 million in investable assets) and 549 billionaires.

The original BRICS cohort comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa added substantial new financial firepower and geopolitical clout with the inclusion this month of new Middle East and North Africa (MENA) members Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. The BRICS bloc now represents more than 45% of the world’s population and accounts for a larger share (nearly 36%) of global GDP than G7 countries (30%) when adjusting for purchasing power parity (PPP).

CEO of Henley & Partners, Dr. Juerg Steffen, says BRICS is now a highly influential player in the global economy, presenting attractive new opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs, and talented high-net-worth individuals. “The inclusion of MENA countries is not just a political realignment but a recognition of their growing economic stature. The region, historically pivotal due to its energy resources, is now asserting a more diversified economic role. For investors worldwide, MENA’s growing participation in BRICS opens a realm of possibilities beyond the region, offering access to fast-growing consumer markets, strategic geographic positioning, and unique cultural and business environments.”

The new report reveals that in the last decade, private wealth grew by a remarkable 92% in China, which is now home to 862,400 millionaires, including 2,352 centi-millionaires and 305 billionaires. India follows in 2nd place in the BRICS HNWI ranking, with 326,400 millionaires, including over 1,000 centis and 120 billionaires, and wealth growth soaring by 85% over the past 10 years. The UAE’s millionaire population has also shot up since 2013, by 77%, and the Middle East’s leading wealth hub is now home to 116,500 millionaires, including over 300 centis. The past decade has also seen robust private wealth growth in Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia, with their millionaire populations rising by 35% and 30%, respectively.

Commenting in the BRICS Wealth Report, leading personal finance and investment expert Jeff D. Opdyke says “nations once considered ‘developing’ or ‘emerging’ or the pejorative ‘third world’ are now dynamic economies that are changing the global order. Economically, non-Western nations — with BRICS at the vanguard — are pushing the globe into a new reality: An emerging economic, social, and monetary status quo that is upending what the world has accepted as normal for nearly eight decades.”

As Dr. José Caballero, Senior Economist at the IMD World Competitiveness Center in Switzerland points out in the report, “BRICS as an organization offers a set of dynamic markets with relatively stable political systems that could influence the future of the global economy. The strength of these economies lies for some in the dynamism of their SMEs sectors and for others in the agility of their political systems. As an intergovernmental organization, therefore, the members of the expanded BRICS complement one other, which in turn ensures the sustainability of their creation of wealth.”

Even though BRICS now controls more of the world’s GDP PPP than the G7, its citizens have significantly less economic mobility than those residing in the most advanced economies. According to the Henley Passport Power Index, the average percentage of global GDP that passport holders from BRICS countries can access visa-free is just 21% compared to those from G7 nations who collectively enjoy access to over 80% of global GDP on average without requiring a prior visa.

Dominic Volek, Group Head of Private Clients at Henley & Partners, says the extended BRICS community will create new opportunities in the investment migration sector, “both for investors seeking greater access to BRICS member states and for those within BRICS countries looking to improve their global access and passport power. Residence and/or citizenship by investment programs can play a transformative role in attracting debt-free capital and talent and fostering a more interconnected and powerful ecosystem.”

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