Backbones of Emerging Economies

Backbones of Emerging Economies

Why you should care

Because how economic growth happens — and where — is fascinating. 

Not Made in China

China will shed approximately 85 million manufacturing jobs in the coming years, which could be a golden opportunity for economic development in textiles elsewhere. As labor costs in the “world’s factory” continue to rise dramatically, global fashion brands are turning to established hubs like Bangladesh and Vietnam to source apparel. But they’re also eying some new players. Myanmar, Haiti and Ethiopia, among others, are looking to rejuvenate a once-thriving trade or even build one entirely from scratch. Big brands are making the move, supposedly, with a conscience. But some are calling BS. Read the story here.

Pay by Phone? Africa’s Got It Covered

When it comes to mobile money, America trails seven years behind another country: Kenya. The mobile money app M-Pesa launched in 2007 and now has more than 15 million users in Kenya and its model may finally be spreading. A new piece called a “thin sim” is a paper-thin chip that slips under a standard SIM card, operating like a second SIM, and allowing users to make instant money transfers, just like M-Pesa. Which is good news for many of Kenya’s unbanked and those relying on mobile payment systems. The technology could help millions — if it can topple a banking telecom giant. Read the story here.

India’s Leading E-Commerce Pioneers

Seven years ago Sachin and Binny Bansal set out to become the Amazon of India — and it looks eerily close, from the initial focus on books to the current wide range of products at discounted prices. Together they’ve forged India’s largest e-commerce platform, an entire delivery system built from scratch: Flipkart. With 14,000 employees and 22 million registered users, it makes 5 million shipments a month. It’s succeeded by offering a cash-on-delivery option — a trump card given Indians’ unease with using credit or debit cards online. And while there have been some problems, they’re still going strong. Read the story here.

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