Focus on Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey

Focus on MINT

Mexico

Of all the MINT countries, it is perhaps Mexico that financial investors are most excited about. With a population of over 113 million - making it the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world - Mexico has one of the world's largest economies. Mexico owes much of its rising wealth to oil, as the tenth largest oil producer in the world, but it also now boasts the sixth largest electronics industry in the world, growing 20% between 2010 and 2011, manufacturing products such as display screens. Mexico is the largest silver producer in the world and it is also growing as a commodity producer, with experts speculating that it could take over China's position as the world's leading provider of affordable mass production.

Mexico's geographical location is set to give the country an advantage as patterns of world trade change. Not only does Mexico neighbour the USA, but it's also perfectly placed to trade with Latin America, making it a good candidate for distribution operations. President Enrique Pena Nieto is leading widespread national reforms in every area, from education, energy and fiscal policy to the institution of government itself.

Due to rapid advances in Mexico's infrastructure, a growing middle class and rapidly declining poverty rates, forecasts predict the country will enjoy a higher GDP per capita than all but three European countries by 2050. Average income for 2012 was $10,600, which IMF Goldman Sachs predicts will rise to $48,000 by 2050. But it's the forecast level of GDP growth at 4.0% between 2015 and 2050, when Mexico may have the fifth largest economy in the world, that makes the country an attractive proposition for overseas investors looking to capitalise on the potential of this emerging market.

Indonesia

Indonesia has the world's fourth biggest population after China, India, and the USA. Jakarta, the capital and Indonesia's largest city, has a population of 28 million, making it the third biggest conurbation in the world. Predictions suggest that with its large population, Indonesia will be ranked seventh in gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050. Indonesia is a strong commodity producer that is looking to expand its commercial activities in the coming years.

Indonesia has the largest economy in Southeast Asia with an estimated gross domestic product (nominal) of US$928.274 billion in 2012. The estimated nominal per capita GDP was US$3,797, and per capita GDP PPP was US$4,943 (international dollars). Indonesia was the only member of the G20 to lower its public debt-to-GDP ratio in 2009 and with an improving infrastructure, property prices in Jakarta are rising sharply.

Former Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, stated at 2011's World Economic Forum on East Asia that Indonesia will be in the top ten countries with the strongest economy within the next decade. This is backed up by figures released by IMF, Goldman Sachs that show a projected growth in average income for the country from $3,600 in 2012 to $21,000 in 2050.

What does Indonesia owe this growth to? Certainly the large population helps, as a more educated middle class is set to swell the ranks of workers. But Indonesia also benefits from its advantageous location in the heart of South-east Asia and deep connections with China. With China riding the crest of the economic wave in the BRICS territories, Indonesia looks well placed to capitalise on the success of its neighbour.

Nigeria

If the predictions are right, then Nigeria will become one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020. The capital city is Abuja, but Nigeria's largest city is Lagos, with 15 million residents, which the Nigerian government estimates will expand to 25 million by 2015. More than 500 languages are spoken by an estimated 170 million Nigerians, but as a reminder of British colonisation, English is the official language, making trade easier for UK businesses.

Nigeria has abundant natural resources, with oil playing a significant role in the Nigerian economy, accounting for 40% of GDP, but it's rapidly expanding in sectors such as the service industry and finance, with its own stock exchange. The re-emergent manufacturing sector is the third largest on the African continent, including leather, textiles, and vehicle production for the likes of Peugeot and Bedford. But the star of the show is Nigeria's communications industry, which is one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world.

Economic development has been hindered by years of military rule, alleged corruption and mismanagement, but now that democracy has been restored, resulting economic reforms have seen Nigeria back on track towards achieving its full economic potential. According to Citigroup, Nigeria will see the highest average GDP growth in the world between 2010 and 2050.

Turkey

Turkey has the third-fastest growing economy in the world - faster even than China! Last year's 10.3% growth was largely determined by construction, which makes up 6% of the Turkish economy, rising to 30% if you include related industries such as steel, timber and energy.

In 2012, Turkey's capital city, Istanbul, had the fifth most billionaires of any city in the world with 30, behind Moscow (78), New York City (57), London (39), and Hong Kong (38). In 2011, Turkey had the world's 15th largest GDP-PPP and 18th largest Nominal GDP. By 2050, this nominal GDP is set to grow to $4.45 trillion USD, becoming the 14th largest in the world.

Obviously, Turkey is renowned as a holiday destination with a huge influx of tourists in the high season, but it also has a large domestic base of consumers, with average annual earnings in the region of $10,000, or £6,000. IMF, Goldman Sachs predict this will rise to $48,500 by 2050.

Turkey has long enjoyed a good reputation for producing consumer goods and it's increasingly looking to white goods and products with higher ticket prices to drive further economic growth. Thanks to its location and history, Turkey is in an unusual position in that it can be considered to belong to both the West and East, joining the EU Customs Union in 1995. As a result, Turkey's ambition of combining its political landscape and Muslim faith with Western commerce presents a unique challenge to overseas investors keen to take advantage of the country's rapid growth.