The Top 10 Emerging Markets to Watch in 2022

Emerging markets disproportionately drive global economic growth. The fastest GDP per capita growth and fastest employment growth are both found in emerging markets, according to the Brooking Institute.

Which emerging-market cities should you watch in 2022?

Bangkok, Thailand

Today, Bangkok is one of Asia’s most important commercial cities, and the Bangkok Metropolitan Region is home to around 14 million people — almost a quarter of the country’s entire population.

As with most economies, Thailand’s economy contracted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thailand’s GDP growth went from -6.1% in 2020 to 1% in 2021. The IMF predicts this will grow to 4.5% in 2022 before slowing to 3.5% in 2025.

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Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi is the second largest city in Vietnam, and its cultural and political centre. It is located in the north-east of the country and situated in the Hong River Delta.

According to The World Bank, Vietnam’s shift from a centrally planned to a market economy has transformed the country from one of the poorest in the world into a lower middle-income country. Because of this, Vietnam has been ranked as one of the most dynamic emerging countries in the East Asia region.

Vietnam was also one of only a few countries to post GDP growth in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

According to the IMF, Vietnam’s annual GDP growth was 2.9% in 2020 and increased to 3.8% in 2021. This is predicted to increase further to 6.6% in 2022. By 2025, the IMF predicts the annual GDP growth rate will be 7.1%.

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dhaka is the capital city of Bangladesh and one of the 10 most populous cities in the world. Situated at the centre of the country, it is a hub for commercial, industrial, agricultural, and political activity.

According to The World Bank, the COVID-19 pandemic decelerated economic growth for Bangladesh in 2020. The poverty reduction rate, however, increased from 14.4% to 18.1%.

According to the IMF, GDP growth went from 3.5% in 2020 to 4.6% in 2021. This is predicted to further increase to 6.5% in 2022. By 2025, GDP growth is expected to reach 7.2%.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City is located in the south-east of Vietnam. The largest and most populous city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is still commonly known by its former name, Saigon.

Ho Chi Minh City’s poverty rates have declined dramatically between 2008 and 2018 from more than 70% to below 6%. Inflation rates, according to the IMF, have also been steady. In 2020, the inflation rate was 3.2%.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Dar es Salaam, while no longer Tanzania’s political centre of administration, is the country’s bustling economic capital and Tanzania’s largest city, home to almost seven million people. It is the largest city in East Africa, and the continent’s fifth largest. As one of the fastest growing cities in the world, Dar es Salaam is expected to be home to over ten million people by 2030.

According to the IMF, GDP growth is expected to increase from 4% to 5.1% in 2022. By 2025, annual GDP growth is projected to reach 6%.

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Hyderabad, India

Hyderabad is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Telangana, and the fourth most populous metropolitan area in India. Hyderabad is also the fifth largest urban economy in India with an output of US$74 billion.

According to statistics shared by the IMF, India’s economy contracted by 7.3% in 2020. In 2021, it saw a sharp increase to 9.5% but is predicted to slow to 8.5% in 2022. By 2025, annual GDP growth is predicted to be 6.2%.

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City is built on the land of a former lake — Texcoco. Mexico City is the largest metropolitan area in the western hemisphere and the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world.

According to the IMF, Mexico’s annual GDP growth rate was -8.3% in 2020. This increased significantly in 2021 to 6.2%, and by 2025 is predicted to be 2%.

Lima, Peru

Lima is the second largest city in the Americas, home to over ten million people. Its economy has developed rapidly over the past two decades, and poverty has decreased from almost 60% in 2004 to 20.5% in 2018. Nonetheless, inequality is rife, and 35% of Lima’s residents live in informal settlements while gated communities are common. In Lima, over seven million people rely on public transport to get where they need to go.

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According to the IMF, annual GDP growth in Peru contracted by 11% in 2020. There was a dramatic increase to 10% in 2021, though this is expected to drop to an annual GDP growth rate of 4.6% in 2022.

Gauteng, South Africa

Gauteng is a province, and City Region, in South Africa. It is the economic hub of South Africa and home to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange — the largest stock exchange in Africa.

South Africa’s GDP shrunk by 6.4% in 2020. This changed significantly in 2021, growing by 5%. The IMF has predicted that this will decrease to 2.2% in 2022. By 2025, South Africa’s annual GDP growth rate is projected to be 1.3%.

Explore our case studies to find out how global companies like Google are tapping into emerging markets to enhance their existing consumer applications.

São Paulo, Brazil

São Paulo is the leading industrial centre in Latin America and capital of the São Paulo state in south-east Brazil. São Paulo is also the most populous city in the Southern Hemisphere.

The annual GDP growth in Brazil contracted by 4.1% in 2020. In 2021, it increased to 5.2% and is predicted to drop to 1.5% in 2022. By 2025, The IMF predicts that annual GDP growth in Brazil will be 2.1%.

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