Emerging markets around the world are those that are in a transitional phase trending from under-developed to highly developed and industrialized, with a strong, growing infrastructure. Emerging markets are in a rapid growth stage of development, yet their economies and political environment are often still vulnerable to external forces and events.

Think America in the late 1800s to early 20th century.

For 2016, there are five strong and growing markets that have the potential to become global economic powers and compete with the United States and Japan within the next decade. They are:

  • China
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Russia
  • India

China

The Chinese government recently suffered a loss of credibility due to badly mishandling its collapsing stock market bubble. Dealing with these types of setbacks is part and parcel to any economy, but the bad mismanagement of the crisis led many to wonder how well-equipped China’s leadership is to handle their markets as their economy slows from rapid growth into something more long-term and sustainable.

Mexico

According to a recent Reuters report, it is widely believed that Mexico will have unprecedented growth in 2016. Although Mexico still has areas with crippling poverty, those are receding. While Mexico’s economic output is less than other developed countries, it is growing faster than most of them. By most counts, this growth is expected to continue through 2018.

Brazil

The largest economy in Latin America, Brazil is in a perfect position to break free and become a leading economic superpower. It has natural resources on par with the United States, especially in energy production, and has large oil and natural gas reserves. Solar and wind power also show potential, due to the sunny climate and winds coming off of Brazil’s more than 7,000 kilometers of coastline. The only concerns are a lack of infrastructure and the odd problem of not really knowing who owns certain lands. This is especially true in the jungles, with competing loggers and ranchers contributing to Brazil’s high rate of violence. Also, due to rapid growth, Brazil has taken on a lot of short-term debt that concerns some analysts.

Russia

After the restructuring of Russia’s economy after its 1998 default, Russia focused on strengthening its economy from the inside, without outside investors. The company weathered the 2008 financial crisis with no real problems, and has some impressive opportunities ahead. Due to the sheer size of Russia, there are ample natural resources. The population is also better-educated than many, with almost 43 percent of Russians holding advanced degrees. The only concern is how the dropping price of oil could impact the Russian economy.

India

The world’s largest democracy had an incredible run from 2014-2015 and it doesn’t seem to be abating. India is well-known for its diverse and open economy which has always been open to the rest of the world’s investors. Huge opportunities for growth still exist in the improvement of infrastructure, as well as in products and services for the country’s growing middle class population. Indians are very frugal and are big savers. This means that Indian entrepreneurs often can start a business with liquid capital from friends and family members.