Will emerging markets lead the growth revival?

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 3.49.00 pmVinika Devasar Rao, Executive Director, INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute and David Wijeratne, PwC’s Growth Markets Centre Leader

In the past year, emerging markets have as a whole, experienced volatile and unpredictable growth. Individually, these markets have had their own growth stories, some experiencing strong growth in the short-term, only to fall out of favour some months later; while others have been grappling with the effects of political and economic turmoil. While economies like India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam are seeing more foreign direct investment, others such as Brazil are fighting a recession. In an increasingly globalised landscape, the volatility of these emerging markets have sent ripples throughout the world economy, its effects cannot be ignored. Faced with this challenging global and regional macro-environment, will emerging markets eventually pull through, and lead the growth revival?

Windows of opportunity despite declining growth

Even though many forecasts suggest decreasing FDI to emerging markets this year, there are still windows of opportunity for growth in the emerging markets, and in particular South-East Asia. In the region, multinationals are still channelling their investments into many sectors such as fast-moving consumer goods, healthcare, manufacturing and infrastructure.

In addition, several initiatives have been spearheaded to promote economic co-operation in the region. The Asean Economic Community will take shape on 31 December, the recently concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement between the US and 11 other economies, including Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, as well as China’s “One Belt One Road” plan which will help connect large scale infrastructure projects and channel new opportunities to the Asean nations. As these initiatives mature, South-East Asia should remain and strengthen as an attractive investment destination for businesses.

A platform for business leaders on emerging markets

With this in mind, PwC’s Growth Markets Centre and the INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute have come together – with a common goal of supporting companies to succeed in emerging markets – to host an inaugural Emerging Markets Conference next week, on 12 and 13 November 2015. More than 200 business leaders will gather in Singapore to discuss perspectives on today’s most critical business issues and trends affecting emerging markets, including innovation, product and service adaptation, partnering profitably, political risk, sustainability, leadership development and governance – with a particular focus on Asia.

This inaugural conference, themed ‘Emerging Markets – Leading the growth revival’, provides a platform for business leaders, policy makers and academics to engage in knowledge exchange about navigating the challenges and harnessing the potential of these diverse economies. The itinerary also includes a gala dinner on 12 November for conference speakers and participants, some of whom are coming from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, India and the US.

Despite the challenging environment, companies still see many investment opportunities in the emerging markets. They will have to be prepared to navigate the short-term volatility. We expect that in the long-term, emerging markets will lead the growth revival of the global economy, and this conference will be rich in discussion about the potential of these vibrant economies.

Learn more about the conference here and follow #EMIPwCCON15 on Twitter for live updates during the event tomorrow.

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