Excel Funds Management Inc.

Emerging Markets

Backgrounder: MIST Countries

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Brazil, Russia, India, and China were stamped for its term ‘BRIC’ back in 2001 by Jim O’Neil. Ten years later, Jim went back and came up with ‘MIST’ countries, Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, and Turkey. Based on the following background information, the MIST countries share a great deal of economic potential.


Mexico has a strong demographic foundation for economic growth. With its population being over 112 million with most being young, Mexico has a chunk of its population entering the work force. And unlike most of the developed world, Mexico’s population is still growing, which grew over 1% last year.


Like Mexico, Indonesia has a demographic distribution that is conductive to rapid economic growth. Over the next few decades, its working-age population will far exceed elderly dependants. Indonesia stands out among the MIST countries because of its high levels of domestic consumption.


Unlike the aging populations that characterize other economic powers in the region, Turkey enjoys a demographic distribution that is extremely favorable to growth, and it will soon be benefitting from the ‘demographic dividend’ of a young population in much of the same way that countries, like China and Brazil, are at present. Turkey’s population represents a sizable domestic market in itself.


The country that stands apart is considered to be a developed economy that is export-driven and powered by high value-added manufacturing. South Korea’s advanced position on the economic development arc means that its population is also substantively different that other MIST countries. It is the smallest population in the club and thus represents the smallest domestic market, and in terms of age distribution it is older that the other MISTs.


There is a solid argument to be made for any member of the MIST countries being the next big launch pad for the global economic growth. But the four of them together and implying that they’re a cohesive bloc should be avoided at all costs.

Written by: Melissa W.



Author: Excel Funds Management

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