Despite the turbulence in emerging markets, a renowned economist and former Chairman of the Asset Management Division of Goldman Sachs Group, Mr. Jim Oâ€™Neill, has said that the countries are going to remain the most promising investment destinations over the next decade.
Oâ€™ Neill coined the terms- BRIC and MINT which referred to large and fast-growing emerging market countries. While BRIC stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China, MINT countries comprises Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey.
Speaking at a forum on infrastructure financing tagged â€œBridging Africaâ€™s Investment Divide,â€ held in Lagos yesterday, Oâ€™Neil insisted that after the BRIC countries, the MINT countries are the next emerging countries with the largest population among the 15 countries he examined.
According to him, Nigeriaâ€™s population would be at par with that of the United States by 2050.
He said the growth rate of any economy is determined by the size of its labour force and productivity level, pointing out that Nigeria has a lot of potential among the MINT countries.
He said: â€œIf Nigeria can do things that are necessary, the growth will be tremendous. By 2050, Nigeriaâ€™s population will be at par with the US. If Nigeria remains together, it will be one of the exciting growth and development centres in the world by 2050.
â€œIn the last 13 years, Nigeria has been growing very well. In the next 13 years, investors would wish they had invested in this country.â€
He said the current power reforms could take the countryâ€™s economy growth to more than 10 per cent.
Oâ€™Neil, however, maintained that there was need for good governance in Nigeria and Africa in order for the continent to attract more investment into its infrastructure sectors.
Oâ€™Neil said the slowdown in China could affect the Nigerian economy, adding that some other countries would also be affected by situation in China.
â€œI think the potential impact of Chinaâ€™s slower growth on Nigeria is a negative. The new China, which will involve slower growth, has very different winners and losers than the old China. And generally speaking, commodity-producing countries that are doing well from rising commodity prices linked to China are going to have that same effect going forward.â€
He added that Africa’s future depends on the continentâ€™s policy makers doing the right thing.
â€œThat is working to create better governance, reducing crime, fighting corruption and delivering improved infrastructure. Infrastructure development is both a defining challenge and a standout investment opportunity for Africa and investors around the world,â€ he said.