Skip to main content

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions

hruby2_Gettyimages_globecoinblue Getty Images

Are Traditional Multinationals Ready for Emerging Markets?

Emerging markets may be subject to political uncertainty and volatile commodity prices, but they also happen to be among the fastest-growing economies in the world. An explosion in consumer spending will soon offer massive opportunities to companies that can learn to navigate this uniquely challenging business environment.

WASHINGTON, DC – Since 2010, economic growth in low- and middle-income countries has been two to three times faster than in high-income countries. The ten economies with the highest projected growth rates for the next four years are all in Africa or Southeast Asia. In the coming years, emerging markets in Africa, Asia, and Latin America will also account for the lion’s shareof global population growth, as well as an unprecedented expansion of the middle class.

Because of their younger, increasingly prosperous populations, emerging markets will drive an explosion in consumer spending. Real (inflation-adjusted) expenditure will grow at triple the rate in developed countries, owing to the continued expansion of Internet and mobile connectivity. Companies that ignore these opportunities risk missing out on decades of future returns.

Yet emerging markets pose significant structural challenges to developed-economy multinational companies. Four issues stand out: a lack of physical infrastructure; a data deficit and reliance on interpersonal networks; policy uncertainty; and informality.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.


Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.;
  1. pisaniferry106_Mark WilsonGetty Images_phase one agreement trump china  Mark Wilson/Getty Images

    Explaining the Triumph of Trump’s Economic Recklessness

    Jean Pisani-Ferry

    The Trump administration’s economic policy is a strange cocktail: one part populist trade protectionism and industrial interventionism; one part classic Republican tax cuts skewed to the rich and industry-friendly deregulation; and one part Keynesian fiscal and monetary stimulus. But it's the Keynesian part that delivers the kick.

  2. yu49_ShengJiapengChinaNewsServiceVCGviaGettyImages_G20trumpjinpingshakehands Sheng Jiapeng/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

    PS Say More: Keyu Jin

    Keyu Jin assesses the “phase one” US-China trade deal, questions whether the US can ever accept China’s development model, and highlights a key difference in how the Hong Kong protests are viewed inside and outside China.