Beyond BRIC: The Next Emerging Economies

Aug. 1, 2011
With costs rising in the BRIC countries as their economies continue to develop, where are the next low-cost producing countries and emerging markets?

Mark DeFabis believes that if stability can be achieved in the Middle East, there are great economic benefits to be reaped for the people living in those countries and those who do businesses with them.

“If we could get the whole Middle East situation resolved, and as those countries begin to enter into world commerce in a more orderly fashion, you could see them becoming more important points of manufacturing in the way that China was in the early part of its evolution.”

Brett Mears shifts his gaze a bit farther south, noting that sub-Saharan Africa possesses the population and tremendous natural resources to enjoy more rapid economic development, provided that the governments of those countries can summon the will to end corruption, create stability, and remove regulatory burdens and barriers to investment and growth.

“You have to look at Africa because they will have the next low-cost labor source,” he says. “You really just have to look at the undeveloped portions of the globe. That’s got to be the next logical step.” When it comes to marketing U.S. products to African countries, he thinks this will follow substantial foreign investment and the resulting economic development.

“You’ve got to have the purchasing power before you can buy the U.S. goods,” he points out. “If you look at what’s happened in China, there is a demand for U.S. and European goods because they are considered the higher quality benchmark. The emerging Chinese middle class wants to buy Jaguars and Corvettes. The next market for our goods will also be another emerging middle class, and hopefully that will be in Africa.”