Meet the Next Eleven (N-11), a group of countries identified by the Goldman Sachs investment bank as having the potential to become (along with the BRICS), the largest economies in the near future.
Besides “potential”, all these countries have a couple of things in common. They’re open to trade and investment. Their quality of education is high. Their populations are on the rise. They’re (somewhat) economically and politically stable.
Not all these nations are at the same level of economic development. But we’ll walk you through the descending list…
Bangladesh is going through a serious socio-political crisis. But on the economic front, they’re doing pretty decently. Their economy is driven by a thriving textile exports sector and remittances from migrant workers in India (and other parts of South Asia) keep their engine running smoothly. But a lot of this economic growth is contingent to the Government maintaining some internal peace and stability and improving the working conditions/wages of the country’s labour force.
Many consider Vietnam to be the fastest growing consumer market in the world. As the global market suffers, it is this domestic demand that gives stability to the Vietnamese economy. Their people are optimistic about their future, and this is reflected in the steady 6-7% GDP growth the nation has seen in recent years.
Turkey may just be the best example of East meets West. Secular democracy, check. Open economy. Check. NATO membership, check.
Thanks to its location smack in the middle of the Middle East and Europe, Turkey automatically became a massive export & re-export hub. The country is even the happy host of several international events, which injects tons of foreign currency into its already thriving economy.
But under President Erdogan’s government, there has been a marked shift from a progressive to an authoritarian rule and from an open to a closed and carefully protected market. And if Turkey wholly enters the war in the Middle East, good luck to their economy.
Look out Indonesia, the Philippines are hot at your heals.
The Philippines are shifting from an agrarian to an industrial and service-oriented economy and if companies across the world continue to relocate their production centers from China to the Philippines, the island nation can expect 6+% GDP growth rate in the coming years. Plus, the 10 million Filipinos working abroad make dramatic contributions to their economy too.
At the forefront of the pack is South Korea, whom many believe is already a developed economy. Considered the leader of the ‘Four Asian Tigers’ (Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore are the other 3), South Korea has sustained high economic growth, for a pretty long time. They’re leaders in telecom and electronics (they even have a state-of-the-art toilet that washes you after you poo!) and some of their brands are global household names.
Nestled between the Middle East and South Asia, flanked by China on one side and vast coastlines on the other, Pakistan is pretty much in the perfect location. Oil flows freely through the nation from West to East, manufactured goods filter through it from East to West, and overall the country gets a solid amount of foreign investment to keep all this going. Pakistan has signed the right kind of trade agreements to make its way to the N-11. To add to all this, Pakistan is politically and socially stable.
Ever heard of Nollywood? It’s the Nigerian film industry and it is H.U.G.E. Entertainment may just be Nigeria’s biggest export, along with telecom and financial services. Nigeria is already the leading economy in West Africa, but it’s also all set to be one of the largest economies in the world by 2020.
No one can resist this land of beaches, fruit cocktails and ancient Aztec and Mayan culture. With so much money flowing into the Mexican economy from tourism alone, this country has a safe spot as one of the future big economies of the world.
Yes, Mexico has substantial poverty, but it still performs highly on the human Development Index (HDI) far outperforming most of the countries in the N-11.
On an industrialization overdrive, Indonesia is next on the list. As the 4th most populous nation in the world (who would’ve thought it?!) Indonesia seems to be quickly catching up to giant economies like India and China cheered on by rating agencies.
But their 5+% growth story is not without problems. Indonesia’s economy is not diversified enough – commodity exports and oil/natural gas exports contribute to a heavy chunk of their economy - and it is too dependent on external demand. Indonesia needs to amp up manufacturing and provide great-quality jobs to their huge population to keep it up.
Thanks to its huge labour force and even huger reserves of oil, Iran has seen significant economic growth, especially recently after the heavy sanctions imposed on it were lifted by the USA.
Iran can blame its previously stagnant growth on its authoritarian leadership. Investors, in particular, didn’t look kindly towards an opaque business environment. But now, Iran is looking to build trade relations with the West, and may just be succeeding at it.
Known for its immense wealth, Egypt suffered a massive blow to its economy after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 during the Arab Spring. The lack of diversification in the Egyptian economy exacerbated their problems.
Nonetheless, it is still the best-performing country in Northern Africa especially now since investments are slowly pouring in, particularly in the rapidly growing housing and energy sectors.
BRICS are the nations that have pretty much arrived.
Brazil, with its enormous amounts of agricultural goods; Russia and its many mines full of valuable minerals; India as the services center of the world; China with its cheap labour and massive exporting capacity; and South Africa with its wealth of precious metals and stones.
These 5 countries represent 42% of the world’s population and account for 20% of the Gross World Product.
Basically #CareerGoals for the N-11.