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These ‘Growth Stars’ Could Shine as China Slows

Huang Xin | Flickr | Getty Images

Falling commodity prices coupled with China's structural slowdown will help create a new generation of emerging market (EM) "growth stars" across Europe and Asia, according to economists at independent research firm Capital Economics.

Poland, Turkey, the Philippines and Indonesia were all cited as middle income manufacturing-based countries set to gain from cheaper commodity imports and a deceleration in the world's second-biggest economy.

"To the extent that China's structural slowdown reflects its transition from low to middle income status, opportunities will present themselves for other EMs as China moves up the value chain," wrote Capital Economics economist David Rees, in a research note on Thursday.

(Read More: IMF Warns of 'Middle-Income Trap' in Emerging Asia)

China posted first quarter GDP numbers that disappointed investors last week. The economy grew by 7.7 percent in the first three months of the year, missing forecasts of 8 percent, and down on fourth quarter growth of 7.9 percent.

Also, the flash HSBC purchasing managers' index (PMI) out this week confirmed fears of slowing growth, with the index falling to a two-month low of 50.5 for April.

(Read More: China's Credit Bubble: Where Did All the Money Go?)

In another Capital Economics note on Friday, senior global economist Andrew Kenningham said that falling commodity prices – in part caused by China's slowdown - would have the additional benefit of allowing countries scope for further monetary stimulus, because of lower inflation pressures.

"While it would be a blow for some places, slower growth in China would have some offsetting benefits… slower but more sustainable growth in China may ultimately be a positive for global growth," said Kenningham.

Falling oil prices could also boost disposable incomes and raise consumer spending capacity, spurring growth, according to an HSBC note on Friday. In it, global economist Madhur Jha named Turkey, Vietnam and India as likely to benefit from the fall-off.

(Read More: Is Oil's Slide Good News or Bad News for Stocks?)

However, the Capital Economics economists warned that China's fellow BRICs – India, Brazil and Russia – may mimic its slowdown in the coming years.

"It's worth noting that despite all of this, China is likely to remain the fastest growing major emerging economy over the next decade. But there is a good chance that our "growth stars" will outpace Brazil and Russia. And a handful – mainly in Africa and South East Asia – look likely to outperform India too," said Capital Economics chief emerging markets economist Neil Shearing.

While, Capital Economics forecast manufacturing-based emerging markets will outperform those based on commodities, Mexico and low-income African countries were highlighted as exceptions to the rule.

"In Africa, we think most economies can grow at decent rates of 5 percent or more over the next decade, simply by maintaining fiscal and monetary discipline and continuing to open up to trade and investment.

"Politics is far more volatile, meaning the economic outlook over a longer run is more uncertain than in more developed EMs. But with this caveat in mind, we are particularly upbeat on Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya," said Shearing.

While Mexico's economy is based on commodity exportation, direct trade with China is very limited. Plus, the prospect of a fresh wave of economic reforms under a new president, coupled with its close ties to the recovering U.S. economy, meant Shearing forecast it will outpace Brazil in the years ahead.

(Read More: What's Behind the Decline in Mexican Farm Workers?)

"At a country level, Mexico is likely to outperform Brazil over the coming years. Elsewhere, in Emerging Europe, we think Turkey and Poland could overtake Russia as the region's growth market," he said.

--By CNBC's Katy Barnato

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