TEN years after the BRIC countries were identified as the most promising emerging markets, the acronym has become a mantra for any companies looking to expand overseas.
Brazil, India, and China are now major players on the world economic stage with Russia following close behind.
But now we should be tracking a new group of emerging markets. These are the CIVETS, named after the cat-like animals found in many of these countries and comprising Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa.
Each has a large, young, growing population; a diverse and dynamic economy; and each in relative terms is politically stable.
But underpinning this is a more dramatic shift in the balance of global trade.
Within three years, for the first time, the economic firepower of emerging markets will overtake the developed world, measured by purchasing power parity.
It is a defining moment.
Demographically, the nature of these markets are also changing, with a predicted massive growth in the numbers of middle-income consumers.
By 2030, a staggering 93% of the world's middle class will live in emerging markets.
Companies looking to rise with this economic tide need to start acting now to cement trade links.
So where exactly do the export opportunities exist in these countries?
Colombia's economy is diverse and relatively advanced and there are opportunities in sectors such as oil and gas and particularly in mining, machinery and training.
The environment is also a priority, including water treatment, clean development projects, environmental consultancy and renewable energy.
In the case of Indonesia, infrastructure is key for a country that has a population of 230m spread across 17,000 islands.
Indonesia needs more airports, ports and railways and power plants all of which will provide opportunities for UK engineers and contractors.
The environment is also a big priority in Indonesia with a need for waste management and new water treatment facilities.
There is demand for financial services and healthcare providers and there are big opportunities in retail serving younger populations who see global brands as extremely desirable.ê
Vietnam, whose economy grew by 5% last year, needs infrastructure investment to expand.
Power, transport and telecoms are key areas.
There are also opportunities for UK accountancy, banking and legal firms to help develop the country's institutions and help them implement regulations and laws.
Vietnam also has a growing retail market.
In the case of Egypt, the best opportunities for UK companies are in education and training, engineering, oil and gas and IT.
There will also be spending on environment and water, construction, mass transport and fire and security.
Turkey is forecast to be the second fastest growing economy in the world by 2018.êA young growing population and EU funding mean there are opportunities for UK companies in a variety of sectors including, environment and water, ports, agriculture, airports, financial services, education and training and IT.
South Africa already has a good infrastructure, with major capital injections to upgrade this further, and a business culture that is similar to that of the UK.
Here, the greatest opportunities exist in agri-technology, advanced engineering and design, construction, rail, chemicals, mining, education and skills, environment, power, creative industries, healthcare, sports and leisure infrastructure and financial services.
So what are your next steps?
Whats your strategy for trading with emerging markets? Are you targeting the growing middle classes? Unsure where to start?
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