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8. Egypt

Projected annual growth: 5.1%
2010 GDP: $160 billion*
2050 projected GDP: $1.165 trillion

Egypt, the Arab world's second largest economy and most populous nation, is a hub for trade routes between Africa, Europe, and Asia due to its strategic location.

The economy relies heavily on agriculture and petroleum exports as well as tourism. Home to one of the most-visited attractions in the world, the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt’s tourism sector employs 10 percent of the country’s workforce and accounts for 11 percent of GDP.

The economy, however, is among the most fragile in this ranking due to Egypt's political uncertainty. Violent anti-government protests that began in January 2011 and helped topple the government of Hosni Mubarak have continued into 2012. According to the investment bank Credit Agricole, each day of demonstrations costs the economy $310 million. The tourism and manufacturing sectors and foreign direct investment into the country have been most affected by the unrest. FDI, for example, fell 93 percentduring the first nine months of 2011, according to central bank data.

While the political uncertainty is clouding the outlook for the economy, some economistsbelieve the revolution, if successful, could bring about positive change that would far outweigh recent short-term losses, including reducing corruption and improving the distribution of wealth.

* Based on 2000 U.S. dollars

Photo: Andrew Holt | Getty Images