CIVETS: New Global Marketing Opportunities in Emerging Economies

globe-flagsMany economists regard the CIVETS countries – Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa – as the next wave of fast growing emerging economies. This follows from the last acronym of emerging economies the BRIC group, which consisted of Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

Ten years after coining the acronym, Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill stated recently that the development of the BRIC economies had exceeded his expectations. Now many analysts consider the CIVETS countries as a second wave of emerging economies, which could offer excellent opportunities for global business.

They all have improving infrastructures, relatively sophisticated financial systems, and (for the most part) are unconstrained by high inflation. For many entrepreneurs, they are an attractive alternative to investing in the BRIC countries, and offer an “early mover advantage” that is no longer possible in those four markets.

Although the countries that make up the CIVETS are spread all over the globe, they share a number of similarities. Here are some reasons why it’s worth looking into the CIVETS.

A Soaring Young Population

The CIVETS have large populations that are both young and increasing. Columbia’s population is 45 million, Indonesia’s is 248 million, Vietnam’s is 91.5 million and they all have a median age of 28. Turkey has a population of 80 million and a median age of 28.5. South Africa has a population of 49 million and a lower median age of 25, while Egypt has a population of 84 million and has a median age of 24, the lowest of the group.

You can see a stark contrast between the CIVETS and the U.S. and the UK, which have a median age of 37 and 40 respectively.

Due to their young populations, digital technologies and communication are expected to play on important role in these countries. Opportunities via the Internet are waiting to be taken.

Strong Economic Growth

Many of the CIVETS countries had strong economic growth in 2011 and are showing strong signs for the future. In 2011 Indonesia’s GDP real growth rate was 6.4 percent, Vietnam’s was at 5.8 percent and Columbia’s was at 5.7 percent. This compares favorably to the U.S., which only had 1.5 percent growth.

The Economist expects the CIVETS countries to have healthy yearly growth rates of around 4.9 percent for the next 20 years, which is more than double that of the G7 countries, which are predicted to only have around 1.8 percent growth. Despite the political uncertainty in Egypt, its economy is still predicted to grow this year.

Many economists advise making a move now to take advantage of these emerging markets, while the competition is still fixated with the BRIC countries. There are many benefits to entering the CIVETS markets early. It’s an ideal time to make contacts and create a presence in a relatively uncrowded marketplace.

Internet Usage On the Rise

Internet usage in the CIVETS is high and increasing rapidly. According to Internet World Stats Indonesia has 55 million Internet users, which represents only 22.4 percent of their population. Vietnam has almost 31 million Internet users, 34 percent of the country, while Columbia has 25 million users, representing almost 56 percent of the population.

The CIVETS countries currently have 176 million Internet users – more than any European country on its own – and that number is set to rise. Compared to Western countries, there is a huge amount of untapped potential. Entering the market early and establishing a presence could help your company become a trusted brand for a new generation.

Engage With CIVETS Internet Users

Localization opportunities in the CIVETS are there for the taking. You might think that all your communication and online marketing can be done in English, since English is the dominant language of the Internet. Although that may be true, people do tend to put more trust in websites in their own language, especially when making purchases. They also tend to search in their native language first, even when looking internationally.

For example, if you want to enter the Indonesian market, it could be worthwhile translating your website and marketing materials into Bahasa Indonesia – a modified form of Malay and the official language of Indonesia. Another widely spoken language in Indonesia is Javanese, as 40.6 percent of the people in Indonesia have Javanese ethnicity.

It is best to approach these new emerging markets with an open mind and with some flexibility to evolve with them. As the Colombian, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Egyptian, Turkish and South African nations reinvent their nations into attractive hubs for global trade, you should be ready to meet their needs and capitalize on their growth before the competition does.

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