Our economies are more connected than ever and there’s no denying the business opportunities on the world stage are plentiful. But where do you start? We’ve delved into some recent economic research to bring you a selection of countries and regions that could offer your business new successes.
Make this the year you break new ground and read on to discover where to do business in 2019.
The global economy in 2019
With uncertainty continuing over Brexit and how it will affect UK businesses with interests overseas, China’s falling levels of exports hitting the strength of the global economy, and industrial output falling across the Eurozone and negatively impacting even the behemoth that is the German economy – it’s fair to say things are looking at bit shaky as we start the year.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. With change comes opportunity and we reckon a good percentage of that opportunity will be found in emerging nations over the next few years.
On the rise – countries predicted to do well in 2019
One key to identifying an ‘unsung hero’ on the global stage is to watch out for emerging markets that have recently witnessed government changes to business regulations. This change can come in various forms but it nearly always results in a chain reaction that shifts attitudes and promotes more business for SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurs.
Based on these metrics, we’ve identified a number of emerging economies highlighted by the World Bank Group as part of the Doing Business initiative and by Forbes in their list of Best Countries for Business. These include firm favourites, China, India and Brazil, which are still expected to be going strong in 2019, as well as newcomers Turkey, Russia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia to name but a few.
Russia is listed as an up and coming economy by the World Bank Group’s Doing Business in 2019 report and it came in 55th place in the Forbes list of best countries for business in 2019. The area has come a long way in improving business regulations since the fall of the Soviet Union and while there are still plenty of controversies, in recent years it has moved away from a centralised economy opening up new opportunities.
The world demand for oil in 2017 played a big role in helping to pull the country out of the recession of 2015 – 2016, and the government has increased its pledged support for import substitution in recent efforts to help diversify the economy and reduce its dependency on natural gas and oil, as well as being a top exporter of primary aluminium and steel.
Turkey ranked 57th in the Forbes list of the best countries for business in 2019, with GDP growth of 7.4 per cent and $10,500 USD GDP per capita. Turkey has a mostly free-market economy, of which agriculture accounts for 25 per cent of the country’s total employment. Electronics, automotive and petrochemical industries have overtaken the textiles and clothing manufacturing industries in recent years.
The Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline, which is jointly managed between Turkey and Azerbaijan (ranked 70th by Forbes), is set to increase the transport of Caspian gas to Europe in the future, which will help diversify the sources of Turkey’s natural gas imports. This could be an interesting development for future engineering and manufacturing business prospects in the coming months and years.
With GDP growth of 6.1 per cent, Rwanda ranked 90th by Forbes for business. Agriculture makes up 63 per cent of the country’s total export earnings alongside a small share of agro-processing and minerals. Tourism, coffee, tea and minerals make up the main sources of foreign business dealings.
Togo has experienced steady economic growth in recent months which has been driven by both its stable political climate and government regulations to modernise the national commercial infrastructure, including a new airport terminal, improvements to roads and even a new seaport.
However, there has been an increase in politically motivated protests fuelled by discontent with President Faure Gnassingbe, so there are still some risks involved with business dealings in Togo. Ranked 140th by Forbes with GDP growth of 4.4 per cent, GDP for the country stood at $5 billion in December 2018.
Kenya, ranked 93rd by Forbes, is the transport and financial hub of East Africa. The country has seen real GDP growth average over 5 per cent in the past decade. Currently ranked as a lower-middle income nation, there is an emerging entrepreneurial middle class in Kenya that is steadily growing.
The Côte d’Ivoire has a GDP of $40 billion as recorded in December 2018 and came in 117th for Forbes best countries for business in 2019. With GDP per capita of $1,700 USD and GDP growth at 7.8 per cent, Côte d’Ivoire has been included in countries with the highest economic growth rate in the past five years.
The Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s largest exporter of cocoa beans and a major exporter and producer of palm oil and coffee. This has left the region vulnerable to fluctuations in the international prices for these commodities, as well as the impact of environmental challenges and conditions.
So where will 2019 take your business? From new oil and gas developments to emerging middles classes, wherever you see opportunity this year, make the most of it and start things off on the right foot with professional language translation services from Bubbles.