At this point, investing in China is pointless. Everybody who’s going to make their money over there, likely already has. The big dogs now know they need to go elsewhere, and find the other developing countries. Countries on the verge of their own economic explosion. They’re out there – and despite the residual effects of the Great Recession, these countries are making money hand over fist. The opportunities are out there, and the only question remains where should you jump in?
One of the world’s most populous nations, Nigeria has undergone a boom of late, owing to strong foreign investment – especially from the Far East. Traditionally lacking in sound financial management, Nigeria has been aided by generous infrastructure development grants from China, market oriented reforms, and frankly, sitting on an absolutely obscene amount of crude petroleum. In 2012, Nigeria exported over $52 billion worth of petroleum – mostly to China. Nigeria is fast growing however, to lessen its economic dependence on oil. Many of the newer investment projects from Chinese companies include grants to develop homes, high speed rail, and wireless networks. One side gets rich selling oil, while the other gets rich selling infrastructure right back. Add that to a stable (supposedly) democratic government, and you have a high reward, low risk venture.
For the risky players in the international market, South Korea is a favourite. Everything about South Korea makes it appealing for long-term investment. It’s experienced steady growth ever since its initial boom in the 1970s, and even after a transition to a democratic government in the late 1980s growth has been steady. The only concerns are possible war with the North – or possible reunification with the North. While a war with North Korea would be incredibly costly, reunification would be equally problematic, owing to large numbers of untrained, uneducated North Koreans seeking aid from a reunified government. However, smart bettors will understand that China and Russia are likely to stop anything that would stop them making money – and on that list includes reunification, and another Korean War.
One of the largest countries in the world, and one of the most steady in terms of economic growth, the Philippines are oddly underrated by many investors. Even during the worst months of the Great Recession, the Philippine GDP still managed to grow by 1%. That was during a slow year. And the very next year, the GDP grew another 7.6%. The Philippines has a strong diversified economy, with money being made exporting coffee, rice, sugar, car components, aircraft components, and natural gas, giving investors a wealth of choice. Add on top of that a stable government, and this country is something that must be seen to be believed.
A country with rich culture, strong infrastructure, and a booming economy. What more could you ask for? Well, a more stable government could help. Despite the ongoing protests against President Erdogan, Turkey remains a relatively strong bet for investors. Not a single Turkish bank went into administration or bankruptcy during the Great Recession, while growth in Turkish industrial output remained steady. Safety-first policies meant that they didn’t reap the gains from risky loans in the mid to late 2000s – but they didn’t take any of the losses either. All told, this remains a wait-and-see prospect. While all the economic signs are strong, the prospect of a Turkish Spring is intimidating.