MINT Countries

First it was the BRICs, then the CIVETS but now there’s a new acronym on the block. Meet the MINTs.

Jim O’Neill, the economist behind the term BRICs, is now championing the MINTs as the second generation of emerging market pacesetters. Sharing common features including growing populations, a youthful workforce and strategic locations near larger markets, O’Neill has selected Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey as the new emerging markets western investors need to take notice of.

A key point O’Neill makes about these countries is their location: Indonesia is at the heart of southeast Asia, Turkey has a combination of eastern and western influences, Nigeria is leading ‘Africa’s rising’ and Mexico has close proximity to the USA. Well, like they say, it’s all about location, location, location…


Due to its newly found reputation for being a rapidly developing, dynamic economy, Mexico is regularly ranked in the top three emerging markets to do business with.
Acting as a natural bridge between Latin America and the United States, it covers an area roughly the same size as Western Europe, and with a population of 116 million, is the second largest economy in Latin America.

And it’s the Latin American market that investors like most. With its market-friendly reforms, with more Free Trade Agreements (including with the EU) than anyone else in the world, economists expect Mexico to attract steady increases in foreign investment. The UK and Mexican governments are working closely together to double bilateral trade to £4.2bn by 2015.

Import commodities: Metalworking, machines, steel mill products, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment, car parts, aircraft and aircraft parts.

Export commodities: Manufactured goods, oil and oil products, silver, fruits, vegetables, coffee and cotton.

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As the world’s fourth most populous country, sixteenth most prosperous and the largest economy in South East Asia, Indonesia is a big country full of big opportunities.
Classified as one of UKTI’s designated high growth markets, Indonesia has enjoyed steady economic growth for a number of years, and Goldman Sachs predicts it will become the eighth largest economy in the world by 2050.

English is widely spoken in the major cities and bilateral trade between the UK and Indonesia is healthy, with considerable growth and investment opportunities in many areas, including ports, railways and infrastructure. The British Prime Minister and the President of the Republic of Indonesia agreed in April 2012 to a shared commitment to double bilateral trade in goods and services from £2.2 billion in 2010 to £4.4 billion in 2015.

Import commodities: Machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels and foodstuffs.

Export commodities: Oil and gas, electrical appliances, plywood, textiles and rubber.

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Find the latest business opportunities in Indonesia here.


Forbes states that Nigeria has some of the best prospects in all emerging markets. It is about to undergo a reassessment of its GDP and when that happens it may well prove to be the biggest economy in Africa, bigger even than South Africa.

Writing for the BBC, Jim O’Neill states that roughly 170 million people in Nigeria share about the same amount of power that is used by about 1.5 million people in the UK and estimates that Nigeria could grow at 10-12% by sorting out this problem alone, doubling the size of its economy in six or seven years.

With English widely spoken and accepted as the business language, investment incentives including Free Trade Zones and tax holidays, and strong cultural and historic ties, there are many strengths of the Nigerian market. Supported by these strengths, British companies with a view to export have a unique opportunity to get ahead of the curve and tap into this market at an early stage.

Import commodities: machinery, chemicals, transport equipment, manufactured goods, food and live animals.

Export commodities: petroleum and petroleum products, cocoa, rubber.

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Find the latest business opportunities in Nigeria here.


Turkey is a rapidly developing country and is predicted to be the second-fastest growing economy in the world by 2018.

Bilateral trade between the UK and Turkey is healthy, reaching £9.1bn in 2011, with the UK positioned as Turkey’s fifth largest source of imports from the EU. In 2010 Britain and Turkey agreed to double bilateral trade by 2015, a target that is set to be achieved with trade increasing by over 40%.

Along with a young and talented population, a big draw for businesses looking to expand into new markets is Turkey’s drive towards full European Union membership with political, economic and legal reform processes in full swing. And with its location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkey is as a great springboard to many other markets, including the eight countries it borders!

Import commodities: machinery, chemicals, semi-finished goods, fuels, transport equipment.

Export commodities: apparel, foodstuffs, textiles, metal manufactures, transport equipment.

Click here for more information on trading with Turkey.

Find the latest business opportunities in Turkey here.