St. James International · Further Readings


THE TIMES THEY ARE A - CHANGIN´

Times have certainly changed since Bob Dylan first sang those words.  Back then there was no giant leap for mankind, no DVD boxed sets, no txtn, no internet and no emerging markets.

Much was made a few years ago about the emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China – the BRIC economies.  Are the BRIC countries still emerging?  Russia and China were economic heavyweights in their own right, and you could argue that so was Brazil.  India may now be - but it is arguable.  Is the political climate in Russia and China now so different that it makes sense to invest there?  Does India have the management and technical infrastructure to become a leading economy?

Then we had the Next 11, but many on that list are still emerging.  Indeed, you might say that they have not yet made the cocoon stage in their development to be able to emerge!  Bangladesh and Pakistan are Indian satellites despite the professed independence based on religious difference.  Iran has oil but is just as likely to set fire to its own oilfields as its neighbours´ oilfields – unstable.  Nigeria remains an unknown quantity, gridlocked by irreconcilable interests.  The Philippines like all overpopulated countries has a garments industry and technological assembly plants but it is still a banana republic – in this case the bananas being coconuts.  Vietnam poses the same question as China – has anything changed politically to provide long term confidence?

So from the Next 11 we are down to a 5-a-side game.  Turkey, Indonesia, Mexico, Egypt and South Korea.  Why Egypt?  Probably the best educated workforce in the Arab world?  Don´t forget that the British and French colonialists scrapped over Egypt like dogs with a bone.  Turkey and South Korea have established themselves as stable politically and Indonesia has a growing reputation.   These three and Mexico are already members of the G20 group of developed economies.

Mexico is probably the most underrated in terms of potential growth.  Basic level economics textbooks talk about the four factors of production – Land, Labour, Capital and Entrepreneur.  Mexico has all four although there is great scope for external capital and the entrepreneurs need to be better organized in raising capital and managing production.  Mexico is self sufficient in food and energy – do not underestimate that.  Nobody knows the extent of Mexico´s mineral resources.  We have yet to see the establishment of a financial infrastructure but it will happen because it cannot be avoided.  Be prepared.  The TIMES They Are a - changin´.

Bob Dylan knew.

ERIC DIXON     MARCH 2013


eric.dixon@stjamesinternational.com



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