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Niti Bhan

Singapore has been way ahead of the BRIC nations in development, for far longer and with greater success - agreed, that's primarily due to its smaller size but it has managed to overcome the challenge posed by being an island nation the size of Chicagoland. To even imagine it in the same breathe as the rest of your LUTI nations is frankly inconceivable on so many levels, beginning with the fact that its vibrantly multiethnic, multilingual and multicultural. Perhaps you were mistaken with Malaysia or Indonesia, close neighbours and in many ways I can see how they might be associated with your LUTI collation.

I would be happy to provide you with far more information on Singapore if you wish to take another look at your collection, starting here:


Gregory Rader

I have long found the World Bank Doing Business rankings intriguing because they focus on many factors that often go overlooked - factors like the ease with which a business can be started or construction permits can be obtained. These administrative hurdles are less obvious than tax rates or superficial political freedom but certainly play a huge role in determining how much productive activity takes place (or doesn't).

It would be very interesting to try to create a similar ranking system incorporating even less obvious factors like those included in the Shift Index. I am sure there are some unknown countries that would be surprisingly friendly to pull-centric business. As you have noted before, much of the organizational innovation is occurring in developing countries so there must be some ways in which less developed environments are actually more friendly to that type of innovation...

Taylor Davidson

Interestingly, this morning I read this Economist article about "The emerging emerging markets: -> http://www.economist.com/node/17493411

They pointed out a number of countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East that could be areas for economic growth.

There are some overlap in the countries represented, but more interesting are the reasons you proposed, a beginning of a framework, focusing on culture, aspiration and size. The Economist picked out a variety of countries for different reasons, but didn't create a framework to understand the overall rationale.

Thinking about large urban centers and small countries, it comes down to sufficient size and independence. Enough size to form a critical mass and a large enough pool of economic activity, and enough independence to not be bogged down by nearby economic stagnation.

A couple of thoughts about what else fits into the considerations: how about trading patterns? Will small countries that are heavy trading parties to "the rich world" suffer from the slow economic growth in those countries? Not only is it about trading outside one's borders, but trading with the right dynamic countries.

How about foreign investment? I would expect there to be a different level of economic growth from countries receiving large amounts of FDI from China than from the US and Europe. I saw China's impact firsthand in Ghana last winter.

What else?

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