Risques et promesses des pays émergents

NEW YORK – Comparée à celle des pays avancés, on peut définir l'économie des pays émergents par une crédibilité moindre et des risques plus importants. Cette définition a paru obsolète après la crise financière, car les pays émergents ont continué à bénéficier d'une croissance élevée. Mais maintenant que ces pays traversent une zone de turbulences dues notamment à une baisse de crédibilité de leur politique économique et à l'augmentation des incertitudes politiques, cette définition paraît mieux adaptée que jamais.

Prenons l'exemple des "Cinq pays fragiles" : l'Inde, l'Indonésie, la Turquie, le Brésil et l'Afrique du Sud. Ils ont en commun des faiblesses économiques et politiques (déficit simultané des finances publiques et des comptes courants, faible croissance, inflation à la hausse, des réformes structurelles qui n'avancent guère) et la perspective d'élections (présidentielles ou législatives) au cours de l'année. Nombre d'autres pays émergents - l'Ukraine, l'Argentine, le Vénézuéla, la Russie, la Hongrie, la Thaïlande et le Nigéria - sont confrontés à des incertitudes politiques et/ou sociales, voire à des désordres.

L'instabilité est encore plus menaçante au Moyen-Orient. En Libye et en Egypte, le Printemps arabe est devenu un hiver sous lequel gronde le mécontentement, la guerre civile fait rage en Syrie et couve au Yémen ; l'Irak, l'Iran, l'Afghanistan et le Pakistan forment un arc de volatilité. Et si l'on se tourne vers l'Asie, il faut compter avec les risques géopolitiques qui proviennent de conflits territoriaux entre la Chine et plusieurs de ses voisins (le Japon, les Philippines, la Corée du Sud et le Vietnam).

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