CIVETS countries: Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa
CIVETS countries: Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa

CIVETS is an acronym for six emerging market countries identified for their rapid economic development: Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa.[1] The term was coined in 2009 by Robert Ward of the Economist Intelligence Unit to describe nations demonstrating particularly strong growth potential. Common characteristics include "diverse and dynamic" economies, "young, growing population[s]",[2] and "relatively sophisticated financial systems".[3]

CIVETS is comparable to similar economic groupings such as BRICS and the Next Eleven,[4] both devised by former Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill to identify markets deemed most advantageous to investors.[5][6] All three terms are examples of "acronym investing", in which investments are targeted to a group of otherwise disparate markets that share a common feature.[7]


The acronym CIVETS was first coined by Robert Ward, Global Director of the Global Forecasting Team of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in late 2009.[8] The grouping was conceptually inspired by BRIC, a term developed in 2001 by Jim O'Neill of the American investment bank Goldman Sachs to describe four rapidly growing countries he believed would challenge the existing global economic order: Brazil, Russia, India, and China.[6] Similarly, Ward identified CIVETS as having some of the strongest economic potential.[5]

CIVETS was further disseminated and popularized by Michael Geoghegan, president of the British multinational bank HSBC, following a speech to the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce in April 2010. Geoghegan compared these countries to the civet, a small cat-like omnivorous mammal that lives in tropical regions of Africa and Asia and eats and partially digests coffee cherries, passing a transformed coffee bean that is a highly valued commodity.[2]


Though diverse in terms of geography, culture, and political system, CIVETS share several elements, most notably diversified economies and soaring young populations.[9] Other similar aspects include relative political stability (particularly by historic standards), strong investment in infrastructure and higher education, reasonably sophisticated financial systems, comparatively low levels of public debt, and high overall economic growth.[7]

Michael Geoghegan has called these countries "the new BRICS" because of their potential as second-generation emerging economies. In 2010, he stated that "emerging markets will grow three times as fast as developed countries this year", adding that the center of gravity of the world was moving towards the East and the South (Asia and Latin America).[10]

In addition to being seen as attractive markets, the role of CIVETS countries in global governance is also discussed, especially at the G20, of which Indonesia, South Africa, and Turkey are members. All three nations are perceived as "development providers investing in peer-to-peer learning and horizontal partnerships and (...) are bound to become strategic players at the G20, UN and IFI levels".[11] In view of this, during the 2011 annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the economy and finance ministers of the CIVETS countries established a formal mechanism for communication and coordination.[12]

All CIVETS countries except Colombia and South Africa are also part of the "Next Eleven" (N-11), a group of nations that will purportedly become some of the world's largest economies in the 21st century.[13]



Colombia is a member of the Pacific Alliance, the Andean Community, and the Association of Caribbean States. It was immersed in political repression since La Violencia. However, with the Constitution of 1991, the country finally reemerged democratically, though with severe obstacles from the Colombian conflict as well as political crises such as the Parapolitica scandal. In recent years, great strides forward have been made, with several institutional changes taking place. There are policies that favor the creation of new businesses, and foreigners can integrate into the market without major hurdles.[14] Foreign investment increased five-fold between 2002 and 2010,[15] and there has also been a petroleum and gas boom.[16] The government is devising strategies to avoid Dutch disease as billions of dollars enter the country.[citation needed]

As of August 2010, Colombia has a budget deficit of 3.6%. The inflation rate is 2.6% and external debt a modest 47% of gross domestic product.[17] Foreign investment is leading to noticeable improvements in infrastructure.[citation needed]

Today, Colombia's diversified economy is the third largest in Latin America, with macroeconomic stability and favorable long-term growth prospects.[18]


Indonesia is a member of ASEAN. After emerging as the third-fastest-growing member of the G20 in 2009, Indonesia has been a strong performer. Like China and India, it is expanding rapidly. Investment growth in 2009 was boosted by infrastructure spending and high commodity prices.[citation needed]

The population of Indonesia is 243 million and it had a GDP of $834 billion in 2011.[citation needed] The budget deficit is 2.2% of GDP, and the current account is in surplus as of 2019.[19][20]


Vietnam is a member of ASEAN. After the death of its leader Lê Duẩn in 1986, Vietnam began making the transition from a planned economy to a socialist-oriented market economy after suffering an inflation rate of 700% and a stagnant economy.[21] The Communist Party launched a broad economic reform package called Doi Moi ("renewal"), with similarities to the Chinese model (economic openness mixed with communist politics) and achieving similar results. Between 1990 and 1997, Vietnam's economy grew at 8% per annum, with similar results in the following years.[citation needed]

Vietnam's rapid growth from the extreme poverty of 1986 has given rise to consumerist habits, especially among the new rich of Vietnam, opening the gap of social inequality and bringing inflation up to 12%, after it had recovered to 4%. However, Communist Party leaders are optimistic about maintaining the growth rate so that in 2020 it will be considered a newly industrialized country.[22]


In September 2011, the World Bank predicted growth of just 1% for that year, compared with 5.2% in the previous year, but analysts expected Egypt to regain its growth trajectory once political stability returned. Egypt has many assets, including fast-growing ports on the Mediterranean and Red Sea linked by the Suez Canal, a growing tourism network, and vast untapped natural gas reserves. Egypt's 82 million population has a median age of 25.[23]


In 2011, Turkey had the world's 15th largest GDP-PPP[24] and 18th largest Nominal GDP.[25] The country is a founding member of the OECD (1961) and the G20 (1999). Since 31 December 1995, it has been part of the EU Customs Union. Mean wages were $8.71 per hour in 2009. Turkey grew at an average rate of 7.5 percent between 2002 and 2006, faster than any other OECD country. Over the past 20 years, Turkey has made significant improvements in economic freedoms. It has expanded monetary freedom, freedom from corruption, and fiscal freedom; these advancements have, nevertheless, been undermined by Turkey's deteriorating property rights and financial freedom.[26]

According to a survey by Forbes magazine, Istanbul, Turkey's financial capital, had a total of 28 billionaires as of March 2010 (down from 34 in 2008[27]), ranking fourth in the world behind New York City (60 billionaires), Moscow (50 billionaires), and London (32 billionaires).[28] In 2012, Istanbul ranked 5th in the world with 30 billionaires, behind Moscow (78 billionaires), New York City (57 billionaires), London (39 billionaires), and Hong Kong (38 billionaires).[29][30] Turkey's major cities and its Aegean coastline attract millions of visitors every year.

The CIA classifies Turkey as a developed country.[31] It is often classified as a newly industrialized country by economists and political scientists.[32][33][34]

Economic data

Member Population
Nom. GDP
$USD (2022 est.)[37]
$USD (2022 est.)[37]
Nom. GDP per capita
$USD (2022 est.)[37]
PPP GDP per capita
$USD (2022 est.)[37]
real GDP growth
% (2022 est.)[38]
 Colombia 51,516,562 342.919 964.743 6,644 18,693 Increase10.6% 55.1%
 Indonesia 273,753,191 1,289.429 4,023.501 4,691 14,638 Increase3.7% 39.7%
 Vietnam 97,468,029 413.808 1,299.690 4,162 13,074 Increase2.5% 41.3%
 Egypt 109,262,178 469.094 1,661.955 4,504 15,958 Increase3.3% 89.1%
 Turkey 84,775,404 853.487 3,320.994 9,961 38,759 Increase10.9% 38.7%
 South Africa 59,392,255 411.480 949.846 6,738 15,555 Increase4.9% 66.9%

Challenges and criticisms

All CIVETS members share similar challenges to sustained economic growth, including unemployment, corruption, inequality, and susceptibility to market volatility.[4] The grouping has also been criticized for lacking economic rigor, serving as a "marketing ploy" intended to assuage investors' reluctance to invest in less developed or stable economies.[6] Richard Titherington, chief investment officer of emerging equities at JP Morgan Chase, dismissed the concept of acronym investments generally, noting that many countries that are grouped together have little in common.[7] Detractors claim that such groupings "do not take into account different stages of development of the countries involved and risk sidelining other promising markets."[7]

In 2013, HSBC closed its CIVETS fund, which was identified by some analysts as indicative of the grouping's underperformance.[7]

See also


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  2. ^ a b "From West to East" (PDF). HSBC. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  3. ^ "The Civets: a guide to the countries bearing the world's hopes for growth". the Guardian. 20 November 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  4. ^ a b Moore, Elaine (8 June 2012). "Civets, Brics and the Next 11". Financial Times.
  5. ^ a b Johnson, Steve (12 September 2010). "Next 11 and Civets vie to be Next Bric Thing". Financial Times.
  6. ^ a b c "BRICs, CIVETS, and PIGS: What's in a name?". Christian Science Monitor. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  7. ^ a b c d e Cohn, Carolyn. "BRIC, MINT, CIVETS: Money Managers Are So Over Investing in Catchy Acronyms". Business Insider. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
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  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  13. ^ "Goldman Sachs's MIST Topping BRICs as Smaller Markets Outperform". 7 August 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  14. ^ "Doing Business Measure of Colombia's business regulations". 30 December 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  15. ^ Markey, Patrick (7 August 2010). "Santos takes office with strong mandate". Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  16. ^ "Colombia's oil boom". 19 July 2010. Archived from the original on 19 September 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  17. ^ "CIVETS". Archived from the original on 30 April 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  18. ^ "IMF Executive Board Concludes 2018 Article IV Consultation with Colombia". Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  19. ^ "ΟΙ ΑΠΟΡΙΕΣ ΤΟΥ ΣΤΕΦΑΝΟΥ ΜΑΝΟΥ". European Business Review (in Greek). Retrieved 29 October 2010.
  20. ^ Reuters Staff (6 January 2021). "Indonesia's 2020 fiscal deficit seen at 6.09% of GDP – finance minister". Reuters. Retrieved 23 March 2021. ((cite news)): |author= has generic name (help)
  21. ^ Bill Hayton (2 September 2006). "BBC Mundo - Vietnam: ¿comunista o consumista?". BBC News. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  22. ^ [1][dead link]
  23. ^ Greenwood, John (18 September 2011). "After BRICs, CIVETS? September 19, 2011". Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  24. ^ The World Bank: World Development Indicators Database. Gross Domestic Product 2011, PPP. Archived 19 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine Last revised on 18 September 2012.
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  26. ^ "Turkey Economy: Population, GDP, Inflation, Business, Trade, FDI, Corruption".
  27. ^ Vorasarun, Chaniga. "In Pictures: The Top 10 Cities For Billionaires". Forbes.
  28. ^ Forbes Billionaires List, Cost Of Living in Forbes Magazine article "Billionaires List, Cost Of Living". 29 March 2010.
  29. ^ Melby, Caleb. "Moscow Beats New York, London In List Of Billionaire Cities". Forbes.
  30. ^ Melby, Caleb. "Moscow - pg.1". Forbes.
  31. ^ Developed Countries, World Factbook, CIA.
  32. ^ Mauro F. Guillén (2003). "Multinationals, Ideology, and Organized Labor". The Limits of Convergence. Princeton University Press. pp. 126 (Table 5.1). ISBN 0-691-11633-4.
  33. ^ David Waugh (2000). "Manufacturing industries (chapter 19), World development (chapter 22)". Geography, An Integrated Approach (3rd ed.). Nelson Thornes Ltd. pp. 563, 576–579, 633, and 640. ISBN 0-17-444706-X.
  34. ^ N. Gregory Mankiw (2007). Principles of Economics (4th ed.). ISBN 978-0-324-22472-6.
  35. ^ "World Population Prospects 2022". United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
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  37. ^ a b c d "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". IMF. 1 October 2022. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  38. ^ a b "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". IMF. 3 April 2022. Retrieved 6 November 2022.