With 70% of the world’s future economic growth in the next 12 years said to be coming from emerging markets, knowing which countries are up and coming is crucial for any business looking to grow their international trade. The Department for International Trade (DIT) were joined by world trade credit insurers, Atradius who shared their insight into the top five promising markets of 2019 as part of our emerging markets webinar. You can view the recording here (password: iSXsJ5sA)
Peru is a stable market with moderately low country risk. The government has a strong and consistent track record of business-friendly policies but political volatility and slowdowns in some markets have increased uncertainty. However, given the broad government consensus for business-friendly policies, this approach is expected to be maintained after the general election. Peru has a steady economic growth of around 4%, which is becoming increasingly more diversified as the market looks to be less reliant on copper mining. The liberal trade stance is supporting a reduction in the reliance on commodities as the market moves forward with establishing trade agreements with the EU, US, China and Mercosur, amongst other markets.
The strongest growth opportunities are in the primary industry sector, with growing demand for private mines, higher hydro-carbon production and in enlarged anchovy fishing. Construction is also promising, with supportive policies and investment in private sector mining and infrastructure projects such as the second line of Lima subway. There are also high growth opportunities in the consumer durables as well as food and beverage sector.
Morocco is a strategic hub of investment between Europe and Africa and between North America and the Middle East. Its geographic positioning, especially being close to the European export market, offers strong opportunities. Morocco benefits from a relatively stable political situation, despite elevated social tensions. However, increased government spending and foreign investments are helping the economy diversify in the higher value-added export sectors such as automotive and aeronautics, which helps to reduce the economy’s reliance on the agricultural sector. The agricultural sector has been impacted by 41% lower rainfall than the previous year, but with active investment and strengthening more sophisticated export industries, expectations beyond 2019 look set to grow to between 3-4% in the coming years.
Other sectors with growth opportunities include tourism, which has enjoyed average annual growth rates surpassing 6% annually since 2000. Morocco’s high standard of infrastructure particularly supports ongoing expansion of this sector, as well as Morocco’s energy sector, including renewable energy.
Morocco has a managed exchange rate, but authorities are taking steps to liberalise the exchange rate to help the country withstand external shocks and maintain competitiveness. This is set to benefit the rapidly growing export industry, particularly in automated industries.
Bulgaria bucks the downward trend in Eastern Europe, by accelerating GDP growth from 3.3% in 2018, to 3.5% in 2019.
The positive economic outlook continues with a tight labour market and development of highways driving consumption and spending power. Domestic demand is supported by increased EU funds and investment, underpinned by the currency peg to the Euro. This reduces currency risk, which has been a key part of Bulgaria’s stability over the past decade.
In Bulgaria, the machinery sector is benefitting from EU subsidiary beneficiary programmes which are aimed at enhancing the productivity. The chemicals sector also benefits from EU subsidies as well as government support.
With good incomes, interest rates and high consumer confidence, import demand is strong, particularly for the food and beverages sector. However, as the fastest-shrinking population, demographics are an increasing problem for Bulgaria and that will restrain the medium-term economic growth prospect if not better addressed in structural reforms in coming years.
Based in Asia, the world’s highest growth region, Indonesia enjoys a high, stable economy. The strength of Indonesia’s domestic economy is highlighted by a steady 5% annual growth in 2018.
While the economy is vulnerable to global investor sentiment through structural current account deficits, high external debt and high rates of unhedged foreign currency debt owned by companies, this risk is managed and reduced by solid economy wide buffers and more recently the United States shift to a monetary easing cycle. The re-election of the Indonesian President also supports the brighter economic outlook, ensuring policy continuity, especially in economic reform, looking to develop infrastructure and support the manufacturing sector and digital economy.
The government is rapidly developing infrastructure within the country, creating special opportunities in the infrastructure and renewable energy sectors for electricity and transport. Furthermore, the announcement in August 2019 to relocate the capital from Jakarta to an entirely new city in Borneo will also ensure significant demand on infrastructure as well as construction industries.
Higher government spending, along with rising incomes and high job growth, makes the consumer durable sector very promising. The chemicals sector is also a bright spot with prospects driven by growth in e-commerce which increases the demand for plastic packaging and the recovering manufacturing sector.
Vietnam benefits from a stable political situation. The government’s policy focus is on economic liberalisation, including free-trade agreements, attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and privatising state-owned enterprises.
As an open economy, Vietnam is exposed to some risk, but for the next three years, Atradius forecast Vietnamese GDP growth to over 6% with exports surpassing its national GDP. Export growth prospects remain bright in contrast to most other countries in the region, despite slowing demand in China in part due to the US-China trade war. Vietnam has continued to enjoy strong export growth this year as the surge in exports to the US offsets weaker demand from China. There has been evidence that Vietnam is a low-cost regional alternative to China for export-orientated manufacturing.
Vietnam’s most promising sector is textiles, with high growth prospects thanks to the ongoing investment and diversification of the export sector. It’s also the sector with most to gain from the US-China trade war.
The country’s middle-class population is the fastest growing in South East Asia. The demand for foreign goods is continuing to increase and a young population with a tendency for eating out make it one of the most attractive markets for the food and beverage sector. This robust economic growth, as well as upgrades in infrastructure and construction activities, also sees a strong demand for fuel across transportation, chemical, aviation and residential sectors.
Are you ready to find out more about these exciting emerging markets? You can find out more in the DIT Country Guides. If you’d like to speak to an International Trade Adviser about what opportunities might be in these markets for your business, get in touch today.