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There's a catchy new acronym gaining traction in emerging markets, and it points to the next best investment opportunity in developing economic growth.
Four emerging markets – Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey – make up the MINT economies. Like BRIC – Brazil, Russia, India, and China – before them, these four are expected to outpace the developed world over the coming years. According to Bloomberg, they've already doubled their economies since 2000.
Of those four, one is a clear leader: Mexico.
Mexico's economy has grown 50% since 2004. The growth stems from two factors: China, and automobiles.
Over the last several years, manufacturing wages in China have been rising relative to those in the United States and Mexico. This has led to more "nearshoring" – companies moving production from Asia to the Americas. Late last year, the seesaw tipped, and China's average manufacturing wages surpassed Mexico's, according to The Wall Street Journal.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of this trend has been the Mexican automotive industry. Between 2003 and 2013, Mexican production of automobiles rose from 1.6 million units to a projected 3 million.
And one of the world's largest economies wants what Mexico is selling.
Around 80% of Mexico's manufacturing exports go to the United States. Imported goods from Mexico to the United States in 2012 totaled $277.7 billion, up 5.6% from 2011, according to the United States Trade Representative.
Mexico's share of U.S. imports of cars and automotive products rose 9% to 20%, making Mexico the United States' second-biggest provider after Canada, according to the IMF. The United States imported $53 billion worth of those products in 2012.
But new goods don't just arrive by magic at their destination. Someone has to carry them. And that's why transportation has become the best investment in Mexican growth.
Riding the Rails to Profit
For an investor looking to get a piece of Mexico's growth, one company stands out as the best investment: Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU).