In 2001, then Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Economist Jim O’Neill coined the acronym BRIC, referring to the economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. The acronym, first used in his 2003 report Building Better Global Economic BRICs, grouped the four countries as emerging market powerhouses, saying they had the perfect blend of attributes to make them the upcoming economic superstars. He added the Big Four would be wealthier than most of G7 nations.

Unfortunately, it did not turn out that way.

Although their economies were still accelerating as recently as 2007, with Brazil climbing 5.4%; Russia, 8.5%; China, 11.4%; and India, 9.0%. But the four nations were hit by the 2008 global credit crisis. While China and India have recuperated, Brazil and Russia have plunged. The bull market in commodities which helped propel growth in those countries has ended.

Russia has been struck by sanctions relative to the Ukraine crisis and Brazil has been contending with Petrobras corruption scandal, its state-run oil company. Both have also suffered from slumping commodity prices. Key produced natural resources, including iron ore, nickel, and oil, have all plummeted since the 2008 financial crisis, sending the two country’s economies and national budgets to downfall. In other words, Brazil and Russia are worsening.

On the other hand, things become better for China and India. China’s growth is attributed to their expansion of consumer base rather than on industrial growth only. Likewise, India has been propelled by vast changes in leadership following the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, policies seeking to reduce red tape, low oil prices, and young labor pool. Based on a survey of top executives of German firms done by global consultancy EY and research company Delphi, India has better investment climate than other BRIC nations even as regulatory and tax system-related challenges are affecting immediate investment plans.

The former Goldman Sachs Asset Management International Chairman said in 2019, he might be tempted to remove ‘B’ and ‘R’ from the acronym and just call it ‘IC’ or if the next three years are the same as the last for Brazil and Russia. Overall, BRIC countries are still showing a great potential, except Brazil and Russia.

What is really in store for BRIC economies? O’Neill noted it is difficult for these nations to repeat their distinct growth rates of this century’s first decade because of several powerful, fortuitous forces taking place, some of which have now disappeared. So, if you are thinking of venturing in BRIC economies, might as well drop Brazil and China – at least for now.