As the economy turns to a perpetual weave of interconnected regions, rather than individual countries, the global economy has gone from a novel concept to a true reality. One country’s prosperity makes others rich, and one region’s economic downturn affects the world. Hence, the best way to mitigate risk is to reach out new avenues. Establishing relationships in multiple areas ensures a steady revenue stream, so here are the 10 most overlooked toll free markets in the global economy.
While many people still aren’t sure if Kazakhstan is a province of China or Russia (it’s neither… they’re a sovereign nation), investors have noticed their consistently stable political environment – unlike some of the surrounding countries. Kazakhstan, formerly part of the USSR, paid off their debt to the IMF 7 years ahead of schedule – making them the first former Soviet nation to do so – and has prospered since. Their inflation had some problems during the ’08 crisis, but they have since firmly wrested it under control.
Chile is one of the best South American markets for a potential relationship, and while their unrest in ’11-12 has scared some investors away, this is nonetheless a stable future partner. Chile was recently was named as a global leader in retail development – a key indicator for middle class development, and Chile’s economy remains quite strong – and growing.
Often associated with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (I’m not sure if it’s just in my mind or everyone’s?) New Zealand is one of the “freest” countries in the world. While they’re a small country, they’re a very developed economy with an infrastructure ready to do business.
While Singapore. isn’t often discussed in new business ventures, it probably should be. Singapore has very low barriers to entry and a thriving economy. Inexpensive corporate taxes and high government efficiency (it does exist!… sort of) has brought an enormous amount of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment), and many companies have moved their regional and international headquarters there.
For the 20th straight year, Hong Kong has been named as the single freest economy in the world. This attracts an incredible amount of FDI and corporate investment – though at the caveat of driving up prices locally. Hence, it’s only ideal for certain types of businesses, but all types of relationship-building.
Israel packs a powerful economic punch, as it’s a beacon of economic and personal freedom among Southeast Asian nations – and arguably the only nation in the area that doesn’t rely on oil for their economy. While feelings on Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the West Bank are politically charged, the remaining parts are Westernized and ripe for American business.
Estonia has the lowest debt of any European nation, and their political stability combined with cost of business than other EU nations makes them a fantastic expansion opportunity for business. By 2015, 100% of businesses will be 100 MB/s or higher on the telecommunications side, and taxes are very cheap compared to other European nations.
One of the smallest nations in the world,Luxembourg has a very powerful GDP per capita. Coincidentally, Luxembourg is also one of the founding members of the EU, and offers a host of benefits – namely, being well connected in the largest trade bloc in the world. This can be a major benefit down the road as an operation expands further.
Many people have never heard of this beautiful island off the coast of Southern Africa. However, as one of the most prosperous sub-Saharan nations, Mauritius is a great place to establish business relationships. With a strong economy (per capita… there’s only about a million people) this is a great launch pad for African – especially South African – expansion. A little sight-seeing with the significant other during a business trip would be worth the added expense.
While many European countries are closely scrutinized prior to establishing a relationship, Iceland is consistently overlooked. They have, however, invested heavily into their infrastructure and business opportunities. This EU country have a very vibrant economy and reacted more responsibly than many other European nations during the ‘08 crisis, which bolsters investor confidence.
There are a number of attractive business options in the standard channels; China, Germany, England, et. Al; but there are a number of benefits to thinking outside the normal map… er, box. The interconnected business environment can certainly be a tool used to an expanding company’s benefit, and rather than paying heavy tariffs and dealing with quotas, consider some of the countries less frequently discussed.