De risico's van de opkomende markten

NEW YORK – Eén van de definities van een opkomende markt-economie is dat de politieke risico's er groter zijn en de beleidsgeloofwaardigheid minder dan in de geavanceerde economieën. Na de mondiale financiële crisis, toen de opkomende markt-economieën robuust bleven groeien, leek deze definitie oud en versleten; maar nu, met de recente onrust in de opkomende landen, deels als gevolg van een zwakkere geloofwaardigheid van hun economisch beleid en de toenemende politieke onzekerheid, lijkt zij relevanter dan ooit.

Neem de zogenoemde Fragile Five: India, Indonesië, Turkije, Brazilië en Zuid-Afrika. Deze landen hebben niet louter economische en beleidszwakheden gemeen (tekorten op de begroting en op de betalingsbalans, een daling van de groei en een stijging van de inflatie, traagheid bij het doorvoeren van structurele hervormingen), maar dit jaar tevens presidents- of parlementsverkiezingen in het vooruitzicht. Veel andere opkomende economieën – Oekraïne, Argentinië, Venezuela, Rusland, Hongarije, Thailand en Nigeria – worden ook geconfronteerd met aanzienlijke politieke en/of sociale onzekerheden en civiele onrust.

En deze lijst omvat niet eens het gevaarlijk instabiele Midden-Oosten, waar de Arabische Lente in Libië en Egypte is omgeslagen in een winter van ziedende ontevredenheid; er woedt een burgeroorlog in Syrië en er smeult er één in Jemen; en Irak, Iran, Afghanistan en Pakistan vormen één langgerekte boog van instabiliteit. De lijst omvat evenmin de geopolitieke risico's in Azië die voortvloeien uit de territoriale geschillen tussen China en veel van zijn buurlanden, waaronder Japan, de Filippijnen, Zuid-Korea en Vietnam.

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