As more companies begin exploring which foreign markets are best suited for their global growth goals, many are discovering the potential waiting in emerging markets. Defined by their rapid economic advancement, emerging markets give companies direct access to large, growing, young populations, eager to work with growing companies.
Just as each country has its own unique legal requirements and cultural expectations, so does each region. When exploring emerging market opportunities, companies can benefit by honing in on a specific region and exploring the countries currently thriving in that area.
Emerging Markets: South East Asia
In recent years, countries in Southeast Asia have provided prime opportunities for companies looking to expand into this rapidly growing market. Southeast Asia has a combined population of over 600 million and is strategically located between the booming populations of India and China.
Companies considering expansion to Southeast Asia should take the time to learn the legal and cultural differences between countries in the region. The Southeast Asia, or ASEAN, region is made up of 10 member states, each with different languages, religions, and histories. These countries include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Among the ASEAN member states, Singapore is seen as the historic “capital,” while Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines are considered traditional “emerging markets” as defined by their growing middle classes. Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam are beginning to create pro-business environments and provide long-term opportunities for companies, making the way for future economic growth.
Emerging Markets: Latin America
After a history of socialist governments, Latin America has emerged as a top target for companies looking to expand into new foreign markets. According to Bloomberg, investors view Latin America as the most favorable region for business, specifically in emerging markets.
Countries such as Colombia, Chile, and Panama all provide opportunities for companies that want a piece of their rapidly growing economy. Each of these countries has developed a regulatory framework and encourages companies to do business in the country in order to boost the local economies. In addition, these countries have created partnerships to promote technology investment, exchange visas, and startup opportunities.
Emerging Markets: Africa
Africa has long been considered one of the riskier emerging market regions, but with those risks also comes untapped potential for business growth. The continent boasts 54 individual countries that each have different histories, cultures, opportunities, and regulations. While many of these nations are resource rich, some countries present more appealing business opportunities than others depending on a business’s purpose for expansion. Countries with some of the most robust economies in the region include Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and Egypt. Each country provides low entry costs for companies and offers opportunities to take advantage of their economic growth.
Many African countries have been eagerly adopting new emerging technologies in a successful effort to accelerate their growth and keep up with modern expectations. A prime example of this is Kenya, which created a groundbreaking mobile-money system, M-PESA, that enables people to transfer money using only their phones. Because many workers in cities needed a better way to transfer money to their families in rural areas, M-PESA became the most globally successful mobile-money system and fueled a mobile revolution that surpassed expectations.
In addition to adopting new technologies, many countries have experienced a leapfrog effect where they skip entire generations of technology advancement only to find themselves caught up with or ahead of developed nations. In Rwanda, for instance, Zipline worked with other companies to get around the country’s poor infrastructure. This resulted in the ability to deliver health care goods via drone to areas with poorly maintained roads. This hunger for new technologies has helped emerging African markets establish themselves as economies to be reckoned with.
The success of a company’s global expansion can be narrowed down to three main areas: timing, approach, and location. Timing and approach work together to help companies determine when and how they will enter a market. When it comes to location, companies can benefit from exploring emerging market opportunities to see which ones fit their global growth goals. Identifying the right market and region for their global business is a key step to any global expansion and companies have a better chance of achieving their goals if they take time to consider the potential in each market.
Get your company into the right emerging markets efficiently with help from the Velocity Global team of experts. Our capabilities in over 185 countries allow us to help you bring your business into any market compliantly so you can begin taking advantage of exciting global opportunities.