The economies of the BRIC nations -Brazil, Russia, India, and China-have grown robustly in the past decade, albeit with some setbacks along the way. There's much more growth in store for the BRICs in the decades ahead. But four emerging nations could be the next BRICs: Turkey, Indonesia, Mexico and the Philippines, which we dub the TIMPs.
Turkey: Location Matters
In many ways, Turkey represents the best of all worlds geographically. Turkey's locus between Eastern Europe to the west, Russia to the north, and the Middle East to the east has made the nation a hub for international trade over the centuries. Turkey's proximity to those regions makes it an appealing place to conduct commerce and invest.
Turkey's economic growth has been bumpy but generally favorable: an average of 6% domestic growth between 2002 and 2008, a 4.8% decline in 2009 due to the global financial crisis, 9.2% growth in 2010, and an 8.5% increase in 2011. Estimates put growth in 2012 around 3%, and in 2013, 3.5%. That puts it ahead of other emerging economies such as Poland and South Africa, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Turkey should remain hot, due partly to an enviable demographic profile: more than half of Turkey's population of 75 million is under the age of 30. And young people in Turkey are becoming more educated, with college graduates soaring by 155% between 2000 and 2010, according to Business Insider. Also, Turkey has developed a robust tourist industry, and a major automotive industry, the world's 16th largest, producing 1.1 million vehicles last year.
Indonesia: A Giant Awakens
Indonesia is the world's fourth-largest nation by population, Indonesian economic growth surpassed that of every Asian country except China in 2012. Strong relative performance should persist, as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono increases infrastructure spending to more than $21 billion in the hopes of meeting his growth goal: an average of 6.6% a year by 2014.
Indonesia's trump card is that its economy is propelled by domestic consumption to a greater degree than the economies of its Pacific Rim neighbors. Private consumption accounted for about 47% of Indonesia's 6.2% rate of GDP growth in the fourth quarter, led by Indonesia's rising middle class of 130 million people. Foreign direct investment in Indonesia reached a new high in the fourth quarter: $5.9 billion, a 22.9% increase from a year earlier. For the entire year, foreign direct investment was $22.8 billion, a 26.7% increase from 2011. Investment should remain strong, given the country's credit rating was recently elevated to investment grade by Fitch Ratings and Moody's Investors Service.
Mexico: New Middle East?
Mexico has surpassed Brazil in growth, with gains of 3.9% in the past two years, versus Brazil's 2.7% in 2011 and 0.9% last year. Mexico's growth is expected to accelerate, prompting Goldman Sachs to predict that the nation will become the world's fifth-largest economy by 2050.
Like Turkey, Mexico enjoys a central trading location, with the U.S. and Canada to the north and swiftly growing South America below. International trade contributes 60% of Mexico's output. Mexico has also morphed into something of a manufacturing powerhouse, the world leader in the production of flat-screen televisions, for instance. The nation's entire manufacturing market was $300 billion in 2012, and it should continue growing at annual rates in the high single digits or more in this decade.
In 2013, Mexico's new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, is moving to reform the country's privately run energy sector. President Nieto wants companies, financial institutions, and other investors (rather than the government) to largely finance Mexico's energy development going forward. He must first navigate considerable cultural resistance, but if he's successful, we think the potential of the Mexican economy will be greater than ever.
Philippines: Prospects Soar
Until recently there was a dearth of foreign direct investment in the Philippines, averaging just $1.5 billion annually. But this nation finally is ready to meet the mostly unfulfilled expectations that have lingered since the Ferdinand Marcos era of the 1980s. The Philippines is benefiting from low inflation (about 3%) and high growth (about 6%). That pattern should remain in place for the next three years.
If trends continue, the Philippines should be the world's 16th largest economy by 2050, according to The New York Times. Among the economic catalysts should be money transfers and customerservice call centers.
About 10% of Filipinos working abroad send payments home ($20 billion worth of payments in 2011, up from $7.5 billion in 2003). And offshore call centers in the Philippines generated about $11 billion in revenue in 2011. The Filipino government is hoping to raise that $11- billion number to $25 billion by 2016, in part by taking jobs away from India. In fact, last year the Philippines captured 70,000 call-center jobs formerly based in India.
Large Catholic families have helped the Philippines. Its 94 million people live have an average age of 23. Population is expected to reach 142 million by 2040, with a labor force encompassing 61% of the population.