First published: Five Books, 9/09/2016
What determines whether a country goes backwards or forwards? Why have so few developing countries joined the ranks of rich nations? George Magnus, former chief economist of UBS, chooses books to help us reflect on what it is that societies need in order to be successful.
Maybe a good starting point would be to ask what ’emerging market’ means and how the term emerged. How is it different from a developing country, and who decides when a country is emerging, rather than a backwater?
The term ‘emerging market’ was coined by a former World Bank official, Antoine van Agtmael. He coined the term in the early 1980s. Later, in 2007, he wrote a book called The Emerging Markets Century. It was really about the future of business. He was looking out 10, 20 years and suggesting that there were a group of countries now on a very rapid phase of economic development. Not only would foreign companies become increasingly interested in investing there, but local companies would also spring up. This was something which international investors needed to take very, very seriously — otherwise, they would miss out on incredibly powerful opportunities….Read more: