Magazine article Management Review

Countries to Watch: The New Tigers

Magazine article Management Review

Countries to Watch: The New Tigers

Article excerpt

Getting the winning strategy right doesn't just involve getting your people to go global, it means knowing - in this fast paced world - where the opportunities are going to be next.

Kellogg Graduate School's Douglas Lamont took the Global 91 participants on a world tour, assessing opportunities for the next decade.

Lamont - whose best-selling book Winning in a Changing Economy has become a 'must read' guide to the global marketplace - calls the upcoming countries and regions he has identified 'the new tigers.'

And Lamont believes that to be a successful global player you must be an 'insider' in every major market. "I disagree with ABB's Percy Barnevik, who said he hasn't gone into Japan because it is too much trouble. It is worth it; you have to be an insider in Japan as well as North America and Europe to be a clear global player in the world economy."

So where should we be putting our investment dollars?

According to Lamont's forecasts the US free trade agreement with Canada (and soon Mexico), will create a huge new market, "from the Yukon to the Yucatan", a fortress America that could easily combat a fortress Europe.

Indeed his leading new tiger is Mexico (it may be small, but is becoming a real powerhouse). "Currently there is double digit foreign investment, with Japan making a significant contribution (President Salinas sends his children to a Japanese language school), but there is also money from Hong Kong and Thailand," he says.

In Mexico, 100 miles south of the US border, there are Hong Kong Chinese factories making Christmas tree decorations for the US market. Elsewhere, seven TVs made by Japanese firms in Mexico cross the border every minute of every day.

The second area is the old historic area of Saxony (roughly centered on Dresden and Leipzig). "This region is where the chances for success are the greatest - where the smart investors are looking."

Mexico and the recreated name of Saxony are the only two areas that Lamont will back 100%. However, he has high hopes for Czechoslovakia ("before WWII it was the 7th industrial power, dropping to 47th under the Communists"), as well as Hungary; with Chile (a "basket of fruit, fish and wine") as an outsider.

Lamont believes that the other Eastern European countries have a long, long way to go to economic prosperity; a view generally held by all the speakers at Global 91, both Western and Japanese. …

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