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MINT, CIVETS and EAGLES – Getting The Global Mobility Discussion Beyond BRICs
January 15, 2014
Care to have a MINT? Want to fly with EAGLES?
Since the turn of the 21st century, companies have steadily grown their footprint in Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC). Going into 2020 and beyond, there will be demographic and economic changes that are already reshuffling BRIC-country economic preeminence in the world. As companies look at where next to invest and send their global talent, now is the time for the global mobility industry to consider how best it is positioned to service corporate relocation needs in new, emerging global market groups.
According to Jim O’Neill, the economist recognized for coining BRIC as an acronym, “The BRIC countries … are already closely watched. The group I’m studying … let’s call them MINT economies - deserve no less attention. Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey all have very favorable demographics for at the least the next 20 years, and their economic prospects are interesting.” In addition to MINT, other global market groupings being bandied about are: CIVETS (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa) and EAGLES (Emerging and Growth Leading Economies – Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey).
Of note, there are numerous voices cautioning companies and investors to avoid perceiving these market groups as the next BRIC’s. According to a November 14, 2013 Financial Times blog, “beyondbrics”, while companies and investors “have been on the lookout for a new passport to riches”, companies are reminded that these new, emerging group designations are, in fact, a disparate group of countries with their own economic agendas. While there may be commonalities in forecasting certain demographic and economic indicators, over the next 20-30 years, CIVETS, EAGLES and MINT may not enjoy the kind of steady, if not even, growth that the BRIC countries enjoyed during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Therefore, the global mobility industry may consider stressing more the individual countries within these groups than the accepted, collectivizing quality of BRIC.
For mobility providers, it may be useful to understand what are considered to be potential drivers in a post-BRIC global economy.
Enviable geography will play a role. Mexico enjoys centrality between the established Canadian and U.S. markets and the growing Central and South American markets. Indonesia also enjoys a central geographic location in Southeast Asia. While Nigeria does not have an inherent geographic advantage, its potential of being seen as Africa’s largest economy could create its own locus as a geographic financial center. South Africa enjoys its position of Africa’s de facto commercial and financial hub while geographically buffered from much of Central and Northern Africa’s instability. Turkey is considered to be the economic and geographic gateway between the European Union and the Middle East.
POLITICAL OPENNESS TO FOREIGN INVESTMENT
Politically, the new millennium has ushered in important political changes in Colombia, Indonesian, Mexico and Turkey. The Colombian President has worked with the national government to address company tax incentives and to make Colombia a more business-friendly environment. The recent announcement by the Mexican Government to privatize the 75-year old state-owned oil giant, Pemex, is seen as a promising sign for foreign investment in the country. While Turkey is struggling with religious and secular politics, the government has significantly opened the economy over the past decade. Since the late 1990’s, Indonesia’s political system has become more democratized after the fall of the 32-year reign of the autocratic President Suharto. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, also welcomed a more civilian rule in 1999 and a more stable, capitalist market.
OTHER POTENTIAL DRIVERS OVER THE NEXT 20-30 YEARS
Over the next 20-30 years, economic and social drivers bring important change in CIVET, EAGLE and MINT countries. Examples of these potential drivers are:
More open access to better and higher education (Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s), increasing wealth drives better education efforts);
The rebasing of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for some of these countries will reshuffle them to higher rankings over established market countries;
Advancements in application and use of new technologies;
As these are typically younger societies, less generational differences; and
Better Internet access could promote a rise of contingency workers or “global e-workers”.
RAISING POST-BRIC DISCUSSIONS IN GLOBAL MOBILITY
Talent management professionals and global mobility suppliers should bear in mind that forecasting economic and social changes for countries in these new groups should be seen through the prism of decades and not years. That said, the biggest advantage is that discussion within our industry can take place during the relative infancy of change. While BRIC’s will continue to be an important and ongoing topic, discussion and education of what global economic experts and global companies are expecting in a “post-BRIC” world will be of great benefit. For global mobility and talent management alike, the time to have a post-BRIC conversation is now.