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Economies that are emerging markets can be safe havens for investors – like during the 2009 recession, when the gross domestic product (GDP) of many major economies suffered a more than 3% drop.
In that same time period, emerging markets actually grew by 3.1%, and have been performing just as well-if not better-ever since.
Of course, not all economies that are emerging markets are created equal.
We've highlighted three promising countries that are surging right now – presenting investors with an opportunity to net gains…
Three Economies that are Emerging Markets Right Now
Macau has a population of 557,000 people and a GDP of $78,275 per capita. It is a "Special Administrative Region" – an autonomous territory that falls within the sovereignty of China, yet doesn't form part of China's mainland.
The country is the only place in China where gambling is legal. As a result, it attracts visitors from the entire region, with more than 28 million people coming to Macau every year. As is to be expected, the gambling industry dominates this emerging market's economy. In 2013, Macau's gambling revenues rose to more than US$45 billion – about seven times more than Las Vegas' earnings.
Gambling industry aside, Macau is a free port, meaning raw materials and capital goods are not subject to import taxes. That, along with Macau's overall low taxes, makes the country a fantastic spot for foreign investors.
Macau has the fifth-highest GDP per capita in the world. Its forecasted GDP growth of 13.5% for 2014 makes Macau an attractive emerging market economy for investors.
With a population of 2.8 million and a per capita GDP of US$3,673, Mongolia has a lot more to it than yaks' milk.
Despite its relatively delicate position between Russia and China, experts predict that Mongolia will be one of the fastest growing economies in the world over the next 20 years. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts an average growth of 14% per annum through 2016, with the economy exhibiting an 11.5% increase in Q3 2013.
Furthermore, Mongolia has the largest reserve of copper in the world, along with extensive oil and gas fields, plenty of gold and iron ore deposits, and a slew of other metals. In fact, metals represent approximately 88% of the country's exports, with China being a major importer.
The young and well-educated population, along with a very pro-Western sentiment, makes Mongolia an excellent choice in emerging market economies for any investor.
China remains one of the economies that are emerging markets to watch, despite that its growth is expected to slow significantly. The slowdown isn't quite as severe as the media has portrayed it to be, and many experts feel that China will still reign supreme in growth rate among the large emerging markets. China's GDP is projected to grow by 7.4% in 2014.
Consumer spending is also supposed to increase by 8.6%, which shows that the economy is starting to exhibit a greater degree of balance. Considering the size of China's consumer market, an additional 8.6% translates into approximately US$290 billion.
Of course, there are certain challenges China must face, including limiting credit in order to help slow down inflation and the rise in property and land prices. Getting local government finances under control is also important, but policies are already being enacted to deal with this issue.