UK must target emerging economies

The UK risks 'playing in the slow lane of history' if it continues to focus on North American and Western European markets, according to accountants and business advisers PwC.

The latest edition of PwC's 'The World in 2050' series of reports concludes that the global financial crisis has accelerated the shift in economic power to emerging economies.

PwC says the 'E7' emerging economies of China, India, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey are likely to overtake the G7 economies of the US, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy and Canada before 2020.

PwC's Steve Denison said: "In many ways the renewed dominance by 2050 of China and India, with their much larger populations, is a return to the historical norm prior to the Industrial Revolution.

"This changing world order poses both challenges and opportunities for businesses in the current advanced economies, including the UK.

"On the one hand, competition from emerging market multinationals will increase steadily over time and the latter will move up the value chain in manufacturing and expand strongly in areas like banking where the global financial crisis has hit the West harder than the East.

"At the same time, rapid growth in consumer markets in the major emerging economies associated with a fast growing middle class, will provide great new opportunities for Western companies that can establish themselves in these markets."

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