The Next 5 Emerging Economies That Will Change the World

Plus one more that might, if this African maybe-power can get its act together.

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About 20 years after the Soviet Union collapsed, China opened, India liberalized, and Brazil saved its economy with the Plano Real, and 10 years after a banker at Goldman Sachs labeled them the BRICs, those four economic rising powers have transformed how we think about the developing world. The centuries-old idea that there is an uncrossable gulf between powerful, rich countries and everyone else has been disproven not just by BRICs' economic power but by their use of that power to help shape world events.

You might say that the glass ceiling has been broken. China, once the "sick man of Asia" and one of the world's poorest places, now boasts the world's second-largest economy and may someday soon even surpass the U.S. in wealth. Now that we understand the global hierarchy to be less fixed than it once was, who will rise next? The conditions for a rising power are so complicated and so reliant on outside factors beyond any one country's control that accurately predicting them would be impossible. Still, some countries seem better positioned and better managed than others. Here are five of our choices for the next emerging economies, plus one outlier that could do well, if only it would pull itself together.

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Max Fisher is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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