Bye to BRICS and hello to CIVETS – promising exporting economies


Any business that’s exported in the last decade will have heard of BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China), a label coined by Goldman Sachs in 1993 to identify promising investment markets. But as global business times have changed, there are now new ones to watch. Columbia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Thailand and South Africa or CIVETs are new emerging markets for exporting, as identified by Robert Ward, global forecasting director for the Economist Intelligence Unit. Let’s have a look at what exciting opportunities these markets have to offer….


  • 5 times the size of the UK
  • Main UK exports include pharmaceuticals, chemicals, machinery and beverages
  • UK exports in 2010 grew by 60% from 2009 to £418 million
  • UK is second largest Colombian investor after the US


  • Largest economy in South East Asia with growing middle-class of 45 million
  • Main UK exports are pulp and waste paper, metalliferous ores & scrap metal, power generating machinery & equipment, industrial machinery & equipment, organic chemicals and essential oils & perfume materials
  • UK exports in 2010 grew by 25% from 2009 to £438.9 million


  • 13th most populated country in the world with almost 89 million people
  • The UK has a strong trade relationship with Vietnam, with trade and investment ties an important aspect of the 2010 Strategic Partnership Agreement
  • Bilateral trade is around £2.6bn and UK foreign direct investment into Vietnam is around £1.7bn
  • Main opportunities include education, infrastructure, power, oil & gas, advanced engineering, rail, defence & security and ports


  • Despite political instability following President Morsi’s removal from office, economists remain positive and predict ‘definitive change to the business environment for international and domestic investors’
  • 83 million population
  • Has a free market system, with the private sector asserting its leadership
  • 900+ UK invested companies currently operate
  • Main opportunities include construction, education & training, energy, engineering, ICT, oil & gas and retail


  • 67 million population
  • Has a strong trading relationship with the UK
  • Bilateral trade in goods and services is valued at £5 billion
  • In 2011, UK exports of goods to Thailand stood at £1.36 billion, while in 2010 UK exports of services were valued at £459 million
  • GDP growth in 2012 is expected to be 5-6%

South Africa

  • UKTI describes the UK as being in South Africa’s ‘Premier League’ of trading partners
  • Bilateral trade relationship of over £9.6bn
  • Value is set to double as a result of challenging targets set by Ministers
  • UKTI is focusing on high value and infrastructure opportunities within the healthcare and acid mine drainage sectors
  • Other opportunities for world-class products, services and technology across different sectors

Information provided by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI)

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