Indonesia and Turkey Emerge from the MIST

Category: Culture

If you’re thinking about expanding globally in 2012, you’ve got plenty of options. Just as BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China) demonstrated white hot growth through the first decade of the 21st century, MIST economies (Mexico, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey) are similarly poised, as we touched on in an earlier post. With their higher per-capita income and GDP, they offer tremendous opportunity to companies planning for strategic global growth. Let’s take a look at two beyond the shores of North America.

Indonesia: Booming Online

With the fourth largest population in the world and a per capita GDP projected to exceed US $3,000, Indonesia’s consumer spending power is impossible to ignore. Companies willing to translate their products and services into Indonesian (the Riau dialect of Malay) will instantly access a massive new market.

The sweet spot in tapping the Indonesian market may lie in reaching the country’s optimistic spenders online. Internet presence hovered around 8% in Indonesia’s 9 major cities in 2005 but a boom in network services has since revolutionized online buying behavior. While only 3% in 2008 reported plans to buy online, by 2010 a stunning 80% reported plans to purchase online within the next 6 months.

With an upper middle class living in the suburbs and working in traffic-choked cities, the cash-flush segment of the economy would rather spend money than time when it comes to shopping (check out this Nielsen post to find out why). Paired with explosive increases in connectivity, if your business speaks Indonesian online, you have an excellent shot (according to Wikipedia) at forming profitable relationships with consumers gathered around the Java Sea.

Turkey: One Billion Within Reach

If you want to place your international business in the cockpit of commerce, you would be hard pressed to find a country better positioned than Turkey. Friendly to establishing new business, allied with the EU via a free trade agreement, and fueled by an upwardly mobile domestic population of 74 million, Turkey is strategically sound for companies establishing a presence throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Turkish is comprised of many dialects, but modern standard Turkish is derived from the dialect spoken in Istanbul. While usage of German and English in Turkey is not uncommon, genuinely competitive international businesses require a Turkish language partner to succeed.

As a country on track to be in the ten largest economies in the world by 2050, investment now promises strong returns for years to come.

If you’re ready to learn more about how to expand into either of these areas, contact us for more information. And don’t forget our earlier post on some things you may not know you know about Mexico.

Photo attribution: Jakob Montrasio