A man walks with his bicycle in the Con Market in the central Vietnamese city of Danang YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images

The “Next Eleven” and the World Economy

While China and India continue to drive the global economy, they are joined by a number of other high-population, high-potential countries, particularly in Asia. It is becoming increasingly clear that future growth will be based not just on one powerhouse country, but on region-wide gains in prosperity.

LONDON – On a recent holiday in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, I couldn’t resist thinking about these countries’ economic potential and ongoing policy challenges. After all, in 2005, my Goldman Sachs colleagues and I had listed Vietnam as one of the Next Eleven (N-11) – all countries with the potential to become important economies during this century.

Vietnam reported that its real (inflation-adjusted) GDP growth was 7.4% in the latest quarter, outpacing China. And, according to the World Bank’s forecast, Vietnam, along with Cambodia and Laos, is on track to maintain a similar level of growth for the year.

The N-11 never acquired the cachet of the BRIC acronym, which I coined in 2001 to describe a bloc of emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) that stood to have a significant impact on the world economy in the future. The N-11 countries weren’t at the level of the BRICs, but nor was either acronym intended to be an investment theme. Rather, N-11 was simply a label we applied to the next 11 most populous, highest-potential emerging economies after the BRICs.

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