Invest in the emerging markets of Europe. These nations have the opportunity to do very well within the framework of the European Union. Although most of these nations have some challenges ahead they are for the most part politically stable and economically will begin to grow as the issue of debt is finally confronted and dealt with.
1) Greece — Has been reclassified by various investors as an emerging market again due to its previous dramatic decline during the economic crisis. Greece is only just merging from the debt crisis. This nation has cut their costs substantially.
The drop in wages and the cost of production are now so low that the profitability of future growth will be dramatic. This of course will be when Gross Domestic Product (GDP) begins to expand again. This is now predicted for 2014 and will accelerate in 2015.
At 11 million inhabitants Greece has a relatively small internal market but this is balanced with its geographic location. The size of the country is just a bit over 50 thousand square miles (131,957 km). It is a gateway to the Near East and will continue to be a major tourist destination.
Despite the economic downturn caused by the debt crisis Greece still remains the largest economy in the Balkans. The GDP for 2012 was 254.98 billion and 235.91 in 2013. The GDP per capita was 22,757.22 and 21,038.23 respectively during the last two years. The highest GDP on record was in 342.79 billion in December 2008 with the per capita rate standing at 30,779.54. Then began a rapid decline because of the financial and debt crisis.
2) Latvia—Latvia has bounced back from the global financial in crisis and today is the fastest growing economy in the European Union.
Latvia has a population of only 2,178,443 inhabitants. The capital city of Riga has a population of 711 thousand. It encompasses a total of 24,903 thousand square miles (64,500 square km).
The GDP for Latvia peaked in 2009 at 33.669 billion in U.S. dollars in 2009. It 2010 it dropped to 25.875 billion. It fell further in 2011 when it dropped to 24.009 billion. It rebounded in 2012 and 2013 respectively at 28.48 and 28.37 billion.
The adoption of the Euro on January 01, 2014 is expected to be an additional boost for potential investors in this Baltic nation.
GDP per capita in Latvia peaked in 2008 when it stood at 8,699.386. As a result of the 2008 crisis it then declined in 2009 to 8367.00. Then it plunged to 6898.99 in 2010. It started to increase again beginning in 2011 at 6,923.88. In 2012 it jumped to 7,946.46 and in 2013 to 8526.98.
3) Ireland—Ireland has experienced a dramatic drop in its domestic economy and this lead to a major increase in the rates of poverty among its citizenry. This has lead to a number of investors who are reclassifying Ireland as an emerging market again.
As the debt crisis passes it is a good time to take another look at this country. Ireland has some of the lowest corporate tax rates in the developed world. The rate is now 12.5% for trading income and a 25% non-trading income rate. Ireland is often cited as a good example of a nation that understands the competition in keeping taxes low in the developed world.
The population of Ireland is still just under 5 million. The land area of the country is 26.598 square miles (68,889 sq km).
Ireland has recently instituted a plan at restoring public finances and bringing its deficit into line by 2015. This will be achieved by reducing the public spending by 10 billion Euros and raising the value added taxes (VAT) by 5 billion euros.
The GDP of Ireland peaked at 262 billion in 2009. It plunged in 2010 to 224 billion and 206 billion in 2011. The GDP for 2012 and 2013 was 221 and 210 billion respectively.
GDP per capita peaked in 2008 at 51,721.35 thousand. It fell all the way to 45,866 thousand in 2012. It is now rising once again. In 2013 per capita reached 46,175.52 thousand.
4) Montenegro—–Montenegro is a good place to invest especially in the tourist industry. As a former country inside the nation of Yugoslavia it has because of geography become a prime location for investors who are looking for a new business opportunity.
The population of Montenegro stands at 625, 266 as of 2011. The geographic land area of the country is 5,019 square miles (13,812 sq km).
The GDP of the country for 2012 was 4,280 billion in US dollars. In 2012 that was 6.881 thousand US per capita.
Montenegro largely escaped the debt crisis as its GDP statistics for the last few years indicate. It has always stayed above 4 billion U.S. (2.91 billion Euros). It has not been saddled with debt and its export sector is growing.
5) Poland—Poland in terms of investment attractiveness is ranked second in Deloitte’s ranking for the region of Eastern Europe. As much as 45% of international companies that have foreign investments in emerging markets point to Poland as one of the countries offering the greatest revenue growth opportunities over next three years.
Poland’s population in the 2012 census stood at 38,544,513. The land area of Poland is 120,696.41 sq miles (312,679 sq km).
As of 2013 GDP was at 513,934 billion US dollars (374 billion Euros). GDP per capita was 13,334 US.
Poland was the only member of the European Union that did not suffer a contraction in economic growth as a result of the debt and financial crisis in 2008. Its economy has continued to grow. It has the 6th largest economy in the European Union.
Rising business investment in Poland is being buttressed by domestic bank lending. Investors are willing to pay more for properties in Poland than other central European markets because of its stable economy, relatively high growth and a large number of expanding cities.
The value of global foreign direct investment (FDI) has accelerated dramatically in 2013. According to the UNCTAD report Poland will in 2 years be the 4th most attractive country for investment in Europe and the 14th most attractive in the world.
6) Czech Republic—The Czech Republic is one of the most successful transition economies in terms of attracting foreign direct investment. Over 130,000 Czech firms across all sectors are supported by foreign capital.
Since 1993, more than USD 80 billion in FDI has been recorded.
The population of the Czech Republic was estimated to have reached 10,513,209 in 2012. The geographic size of the country stands at 30,450 sq miles (78,866 sq km).
GDP for the Czech Republic reached 253.2 billion in 2009. It dropped to 235.4 in 2010 and 231.3 billion in 2011. It rebounded in 2012 at 249.9 billion but slipped once again to 229.8 in 2013. However growth surged in the 4th quarter to 1.6 from 0.2 and 0.3 in the 2 previous quarters. Growth is forecast to be even better this year.
GDP per capita for the republic peaked at 14,554.93 in 2009. It only dropped below 14 thousand in 2010. Since then it has been above 14 thousand the last report for 2013 was 14,198.76.
Studies looking at countries’ attractiveness for foreign investors confirm these facts. In the European Attractiveness Survey by Ernst &Young, for instance, the Czech Republic regularly ranks among the top countries.
At present the Czech Republic ranks 39th among 144 world economies in terms of competitiveness.