Leading economists from trade credit insurer Atradius have released their assessment of the world’s top emerging markets of 2017.
The new economic report reveals that India, Indonesia, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Peru, Chile and Bulgaria are some of the global leading emerging market economies (EMEs) to watch. According to Atradius, these economies have been boosted by higher yields, reduced concern surrounding a hard landing of China’s GDP growth and a stabilisation of commodity prices.
Despite mounting uncertainty in 2017, these markets are predicted to weather global volatility due to strong domestically-driven growth, favourable demographics and supportive policy. Each market is dominated by young, growing populations, marked by an expanding middle class which boosts consumption and increases demand for investment and imports.
Meanwhile, policymaking in these EMEs is largely improving and these markets generally enjoy stable political and institutional conditions. Indonesia, Peru, India and Côte d’Ivoire particularly are undertaking business-friendly reforms.
Best performing sectors
Food: New long-term opportunities can be found in Bulgaria thanks to rising demand and a fragmented food market. Meanwhile, Kenya and Peru are also experiencing increasing demand for imported food and beverages.
Chemicals: India’s chemicals imports are growing substantially with a positive outlook as industrial activities grow. Higher industry and household demand is also rising in Bulgaria where 80 per cent of chemicals are imported.
Construction: Demand for infrastructure and investment growth are fuelling opportunities in all of the top EMEs largely thanks to a variety of large government infrastructure projects.
Retail: Good prospects and growth are forecast in the retail sector in Côte d’Ivoire, Chile and Peru. India anticipates a boost in rural incomes which will drive demand for consumer goods.
However, while there are increasingly new opportunities for UK businesses to trade with emerging markets, Atradius cautions that as with any trading economy, new opportunities are not without new risks.
Richard Reynolds, head of regional brokered sales at Atradius, says, ‘The combination of strong consumption, investment-led GDP growth, increasing populations and improving policymaking offer attractive opportunities within these emerging market economies. Nevertheless, businesses must be aware of the risks of trading with new markets.
‘While the outlook for these EMEs is currently relatively benign, they are threatened from the effects of developments in the US such as interest rate hikes and any change to trade policies made by the newly inaugurated president which might impact currency depreciations and growth.’
Reynolds adds, ‘In today’s economy, new global opportunities must be seized upon but the key for businesses operating in these new markets is protection. Businesses must be aware of the risks and take positive action to mitigate against them with robust risk and credit management strategies.’
James Marchant, co-founder and CEO of Just Opened, says, ‘The experience economy is a global force, supported by a wealth of exciting and vibrant locations. It’s culturally curious consumers throughout the world who are drawn to locations such as these. With the EU amounting to 10% of the world’s population, it makes sense for British businesses to look beyond the continent for opportunities and new customers.
‘Asia for example has a huge population with a strong consumerist culture making it an ideal fit for many businesses, not just those working in the experience economy. Businesses therefore have a lot to gain by looking beyond the European horizon, particularly in terms of growth prospects.’