Fast-growing emerging markets, even those with small populations, may offer significant opportunities for midsized companies, according to Alexander Gordin, managing director of the Broad Street Capital Group in New York. “A midcap company can establish a beachhead in a market that might be too small to be of interest to the major players,” he said, citing the energy industry as a particular example. From that location, they can expand into other regional markets.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the U.S. will lead the world’s advanced economies in GDP growth in 2015, with a projected increase of 3.1%. Overall, improvements in the labor market continue and the rate of private investment is expected to rise.
The world’s advanced economies—Japan, the Euro Area states, the United Kingdom and Canada, in addition to the U.S.—will see 2.3% GDP growth overall this year.
The Economy Watch website was slightly more upbeat, forecasting 2.5% growth for the major advanced economies. It forecast 6% GDP growth for Emerging Market countries, ranking Sao Tome and Principe, the tiny Portuguese-speaking island nation off Central Africa, first in GDP growth in 2015, with an expected 37% GDP growth this year.
Oil reserves discovered in the Gulf of Guinea are expected to boost the island’s economy. Mauritania, a small state in western North Africa, will log 25% GDP growth. Following those states are Republic of Congo and Papua New Guinea, both expected to register 20% GDP growth.
Expanding GDP is generally accompanied by increased government, business and consumer spending, and expanding import activity. Double-digit growth rates can signal increased export, franchising and direct-investment opportunities, said Gordin.
Executives interested in emerging market opportunities “should look at industries like franchising, energy and agriculture, which are usually among the industries in demand” in fast-growing, developing countries, Gordin said. Other industries that typically experience faster-than-average growth in such circumstances are pharmaceuticals, personal hygiene products and commercial and home construction.