The top five countries for growth potential

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The top five countries globally with the greatest potential for economic growth are Rwanda, Liberia, Cambodia, Zambia and The Gambia, according to the latest findings by wealth manager Courtiers.

Courtiers' annual research is based on analysis of the Global Competitiveness Index produced by the World Economic Forum, which ranks countries on basics such as education and infrastructure, as well as the quality of financial markets and levels of business innovation and sophistication.

While some of the countries forecast to show greatest GDP growth have only topped the tables occasionally, others, including India, Vietnam, Kenya and The Gambia, are "stalwarts, featuring regularly in the top ten", according to Courtiers fund manager Caroline Shaw.

Looking at potential regional growth, Asia Pacific leads the way, with both South America and Africa some way behind.

But regional analysis can mask the potential within individual countries. Africa is a particular example, with "huge disparity", says Shaw. While seven African countries actually have negative potential growth, suggesting people are going to get poorer, eight of the top 15 countries, and four of the top five, are in Africa.

However, she stresses that the analysis flags up long-term potential rather than immediate investment opportunities.

"The competitiveness scores for these countries are all low, particularly for basic requirements and efficiency – so potential for improvement is high but does not necessarily make them investment targets at present."

Another problem is the immaturity of the market system, she adds. "Not all countries have an investable, liquid and secure stock market, and some stock markets carry more risk than is acceptable to most of our clients."

This article was written for our sister website Money Observer

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