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2. Ukraine

Projected annual growth: 6%
2010 GDP: $45 billion*
2050 projected GDP: $462 billion

The economy of Ukraine is forecast to increase 10 fold over the next 40 years, outperforming its European peers.

The former Soviet republic is well endowed with natural resources, including high-quality agricultural land and mineral deposits. It also has the world's largest manganese-ore fields, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The abundance of other mineral resources, including coal and iron, has allowed it to become one of the largest refiners of metallurgical products in Eastern Europe.

Demand for Ukraine’s top export, steel, and robust domestic consumption helped by rising pension and wages, led to an annual average growth rate of 7.5 percent for the economy between 2001-2008, according to the OECD. However, the country was severely hit by the global economic downturn, which cut FDI inflows by more than half and led to a 15 percent contraction in GDP during 2009.

In 2010, however, the country returned to positive growth, boosted by a recovery in exports. The value of Ukraine’s exports for 2010 was $52 billion, representing a 30 percent increase over the previous year, according to the CIA World Fact Book.

In addition to access to resources, one of Ukraine’s other competitive advantages has been its focus on education and developing human capital, which HSBC believes will be key for driving growth in coming decades. The country boasts a near 100 percent literacy rate and has a well-qualified labor force — an important factor for attracting investment.

* Based on 2000 U.S. dollars

Photo: Getty Images