The Intersection Between Innovation & Emerging Markets

Today BRICS countries are economic, political and cultural hubs in their respective regions, leading the way forward for their neighbouring countries and their global importance is only bound to grow.


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  • And beyond...

Did you know Brazil produces 10.000 PHD's every year?

Do you know there is an Innovation Law in Brazil, with the sole objective to foster innovation and entrepreneurship?

Brazil is BIG

  • 5th largest country in territory extension
  • 5th largest population
  • 5th largest mobile telephony market
  • 6th largest economy in the world
  • 6th largest motor vehicle producer
  • 9th largest oil producer


  • 193 million people, ONE language
  • No regional conflict with neighboring countries.
  • Last armed conflict was in 1870.
  • 26 states, 1 federal capital and more than 5.000 municipalities

Brazil is STABLE and GROWING

  • Political & economic continuity for the last 18 years
  • GDP expected to rise up to 4%-5% over the next 10 years
  • Host nation of 2014 FIFA World Cup & 2016 Summer Olympics
  • Massive emerging and consumption-oriented middle class
  • Over US$ 660bn in Foreign direct investments in 2011 (5x more than 2005)
  • Open competition, even hyper-competitive in some industries


  • Brazil produces 10.000 PHD's every year.
  • In 2005 Brazil implemented a new "Innovation Law" with a comprehensive framework to foster innovation.
  • Brazil is a global leader in alternative energy sources, producing more ethanol than Asia and Europe combined.
  • It has one of the strongest science bases outside the OECD.
  • Among developing countries, its scientists contribute more of the most-cited research papers than any other country except China and India.
  • Approximately 2/3 of the costs of developing science and technology in Brazil are provided by public funds.
  • In 2009, the Brazilian science budget amounted to approximately £1.3 Billion.


Five Tips for Investors
Practical guidelines for those who plan on doing business in Russia.
By Elizabeth Sadova


So, you have made your decision and are about to invest a certain amount of money in a Russian asset? Naturally, you have been trying to find out more about the intricacies of doing business in Russia, the local mentality and so forth. You certainly have already formed some sort of impression – a patchwork of various notions and images such as the mysterious Russian soul, corruption, crime and bureaucracy, natural resources, the high intellectual level of the population, and the enormous potential to develop and grow many business areas.

But what are you going to see on the ground? Russian people like to talk a lot about their country's unique and distinctive culture. But how does it affect the business environment? The laws and regulations that are customary in other countries, especially in the developed nations of the West, are often misunderstood and rejected in Russia.

The first thing you are likely to hear in response to your proposal is, "No." What is more, there will be no apparent reason for this reply. It might simply mean, "We disagree with that approach, it will not work, we will not do it, we live by our own set of laws." Rules are a difficult thing; they are always subject to change depending on who does the inter­preting. Here we are about to touch upon a critical aspect: trying to understand who calls the shots and who you should negotiate with.

Russia has always been ruled by some sort of a supre­me power, be it the tsar or some other leader, who is perceived as the father of all people – tough but fair. Russia's dominant religion – Orthodox Christianity – also recognises and accepts the notion of supreme power. Business communities are built based on the same principle, with the chief executive reigning supreme and topping the pyramid, and the rest filling different positions in the hierarchy and unconditionally accepting all decisions taken at the top.


Hence, Tip No. 1


If you want to secure a favourable decision to further your objectives, you should find out in advance who will take the decision, where this person's inte­rests lie, and who you will have to talk to. A strict hierarchy means that all important decisions can only be taken subject to management's approval and consent, even if you have done all the groundwork with another specialist who deals with your particular field. The boss will always have the final say. However, there is a caveat: if your proposal is not appealing, the news will be relayed to you by the person in charge of your particular question, and more often than not this person will not be the boss. Your objective is to keep the relationship going in case you might need to deal with these people in the future. It could be critical to win the support of the influential people acting as aides to the chief executive, who could confirm that your proposal is important and valuable.

Tip No. 2.: Who you should talk to, and how

Russia is a country where 'context' matters a lot, with information often communicated in a non-verbal manner. Therefore, it matters who delivers this information – their status, as well as their formal and informal role. Those who informally communicate with the principal person tend to exercise a lot more influence than the principal's direct subordinates.

Information is not always available to everyone. Very often different employees have access to different pieces of information. Therefore, it always makes sense to hear several versions and try to run through the different possible scenarios. It behoves you to verify the information as well: part of it may simply be based on assumption.

Tip No. 3.: What to do in conflict situations

You have a disagreement with your Russian partners. How can you find a way out of this situation? Conflicts are managed in Russia in a different manner compared to what is commonly accepted in the West. For the most part, conflict management techniques are a function of the information communication discourse addressed above. Since personal relationships play a vital role in finding solutions to various problems, conflicts are rarely resolved in a head-on direct manner based on an objective picture of what is going on. More often than not, the very existence of a conflict is kept quiet and unadmitted. It is always better to try and resolve such disagreements through the good offices of third parties and not to get involved personally; see Tip No. 1.

Relationships are important. However, if a conflict is out in the open it will be resolved by a decision taken by the principal and everyone else will have to accept it. Russians tend to react emotionally in conflict situations and are often unable to compartmentalise the problem and the individuals involved. Therefore, it is always difficult to find someone who would willingly agree to deliver bad news to the boss.

Tip No. 4.: Never forget about formalities

The term 'manual management' took root in Russia following the crisis of 2008. It means that the chief executive decides on all key issues, and the rest have to comply. The difficulty here lies in the fact that any activity can only be planned for a short period of time, because in the longer run things may change unexpectedly. In planning your activities in Russia, try to formalise certain aspects of your cooperation. It is great if you have advisors who can sort out all of the contested issues well in advance. But it is equally important to understand who is really at the helm, navigating the ship in this 'manual mode.'

Tip No. 5.: Never stray from your objective

It is not at all easy to quickly understand and accept another culture. Therefore, it will be best if you start your business with reliable partners who share your interests and objectives, who can explain to you all of the intricacies and controversial nuances.

It will be a tremendous benefit if you are willing to learn the language and understand the country. Even if you are not going to stay in Russia forever, you will still have a chance to come into contact with another culture – and in the process get to know yourself better.

In conclusion I would like to recall a famous quote attributed to Anton Chekhov: "Each of us is full of too many wheels, screws and valves to permit us to judge one another on a first impression or by two or three external signs."

Do not jump to conclusions based on first impressions, and continue to strive to achieve your objective.

This is a partner article: BRICS Business Magazine

Author: Elizabeth Sadova, Academic Director of Executive Education Programmes, SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management

First published at:




March, 2013: The world's largest country in territorial extension, Russia is a nation of superlatives. Not only is it home to the largest natural gas and oil reserves, Russia is also the leader in space launches per year and the longest electric railway system in the world, to name a couple.

But Russia is also home to a growing middle class, high education level and developed technology infrastructure which make it ripe for becoming an economic powerhouse in the near future.

Perhaps the most meaningful initiative towards this bright future is the Skolkovo Innovation Centre, championed by the Russian government, which has the objective of "concentrating international intellectual capital, thereby stimulating the development of break-through projects and technologies".

Reasserting Russia's appetite for investment in innovation, Skolkovo's Institute of Science and Technology (SkyTech) will open in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 15 R&D centers for Russian and non-Russian scientists to collaborate and open new avenues of knowledge exchange.

The Skolkovo Foundation and its partners transform the infrastructure, resources and other possibilities of the centre, into effective services for companies that are project participants. The following corporations are amongst those already taking part in this programme:

russia skolkovo partners


Did you know that…

  • The Government of India has declared 2010-2020 as the 'Decade of Innovation'?
  • In 2010, the Indian Prime Minister constituted the National Innovation Council?
  • India is launching an "Inclusive Innovation Fund" in 2012-13 to promote entrepreneurship?
  • More than half of its 1.2 billion population is under 25 years old?
  • MIT Technology Review ranked 6 Indian-Americans among the top global innovators under the age of 35?
  • India's stock of scientists and engineers engaged in R&D is among the largest in the world?
  • The city of Bangalore is called "Silicon Valley of India"
  • Indian I.T. has grown from almost nothing in 1980 to an estimated billion in revenue in 2011

All this in a country where…

  • There are 415 living languages and 29 of those are spoken by at least 1 million people
  • Each of its 27 states have its own official language
  • About 2% of its population-20 million people – live abroad, earning nearly 65% of its GDP

The size of this opportunity is massive…

  • 2nd largest population in the world *
  • 2nd largest mobile telephony market
  • 7th largest country in territory extension
  • 10th largest economy in the world
  • India's workforce amounts for 467 million people, 60% more than the total USA population


China's coastal regions will turn from "world's factory" to hubs of R&D, high-end manufacturing and service sector by 2015"

This is one of the cornerstones of the new Chinese 5-year plan approved by the government in 2010

  • Foreign investment is welcomed in modern agriculture, high-tech and environment protection industries
  • Coca-Cola still invests in the United States but, like most U.S. multinationals, it now invests far more heavily in the growth markets of the BRICS
  • Shanghai places No. 1 in the world in high school math scores.
  • China's share of global R&D investment grew from 9% in 2008 to 13% in 2011.
  • From 2003-2007 China innovation patents application grew by 28% annually.
  • China applies for more patents annually than the entire European Union combined.
  • In 2011, China applied for 1.6 million patents, a 33% growth from 2010.

China is a nation of some well-known superlatives…

  • World's largest population with 1.3 billion people
  • World's largest exporter
  • World's largest foreign currency reserves
  • World's largest mobile telephony market
  • 2nd largest economy in the world
  • 2nd largest importer in the world
  • 2nd largest country in territory extension

But did you also know that China has the world's largest…

  • Renewable energy production?
  • Extension of high-speed railways?
  • Solar panels production?
  • Wind turbines production?


South Africans are innovative problem-solvers. The country's top-class science and technology sector has produced many world firsts, including oil from coal, pioneering steel production, deep-level mining, and new medical and information technology.

But why does South Africa belong in this "big boys" club? Here is why:

  • South Africa is the world's leader in mining and minerals.
  • The massive Innovation Hub in Gauteng is science and technology park that brings high-tech industry, academia and entrepreneurs together to further improve South African technology.
  • The first ever human heart transplant was performed by South African surgeon, Dr Christiaan Barnard, at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town in 1967.
  • Used globally by medical staff to reduce the risk of HIV/Aids infection through needle-stick injuries, the Smartlock Safety Syringe was developed by two South Africans in 1992 (Hendrikus J. van der Meyden and Alexis A. Wadman).
  • The Hippo Water Roller - an innovative container design to improve water transportation particularly in the developing world – was designed by Johan Jonker and Pettie Petzer.
  • The world's first computerised ticketing was invented by South Africa's premier ticketing agent, Computicket.

And here is what the authorities have to say about Innovation in South Africa:

President Jacob Zuma

South Africa met the challenges of 2011 with "fortitude and innovation"

President Jacob Zuma, during his end of the year speech.

Donald Gips - US Ambassador

"I have been very impressed with South Africans' ability to link abstract knowledge and real-world application. With such talent, it seems natural that this beautiful, vibrant country should become a global innovation hub for the 21st century."

Donald Gips, US Ambassador to South Africa

Prof. Wilmot James

"…local solutions that draw on international experience may be used <in South Africa> to "grow the economy at a sufficient rate, create jobs and expand the circle of opportunity, so that more [...] talented young graduates can become active participants in a South African economy driven by innovation"

   Prof. Wilmot James, South Africa's Shadow Minister of Education


Hogan-LovellsThe 10th edition of the "Doing Business" survey carried out by the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank has been published. The survey, which measures the ease of doing business in 185 jurisdictions by looking at regulations that affect business activity, gives some positive results for Africa.

There is still some work to be done, but progress has been made, and the reforms are encouraging.
Africa has risen from the bottom ranks and has made the most significant improvement worldwide:

• Out of the 50 most improved countries since 2005, the largest share (17) is in Sub-Saharan Africa.
• Rwanda remains the most reformed country in Africa (and the second globally) since 2005 (jumping up to 52nd position from 158th – although it has dropped four places since last year).
• Moreover, out of the 46 Sub-Saharan governments, 45 improved their regulatory environment, with an average of nine institutional and regulatory reforms per government.
• Burundi was singled out along with nine other economies as the country with the most improvements since 2012.



• Mauritius remains the clear leader of the continent in 19th position globally (ahead of Germany, France and Luxembourg). Its bilingual culture, mixed civil/common law legal system and business-friendly tax legislation have helped this island to become an investment stepping stone for Africa. As a total democracy (according to the Democracy Index published by the Economist, which classified France, Italy and Spain less favourably: as flawed democracies) Mauritius has also emerged as a role model for many African nations.
• South Africa maintains its second place in Africa holding on to its global position of 39th but it achieves first place for the ease of raising debt, along with the UK.



• Most countries in the world have improved dramatically in the "starting business" category. Starting a business takes less than 20 days in half the countries of the world and Africa has been leading the march on this front. There is still a long way to go relative to the UK where limited companies can be incorporated on-line in a few hours, but, thanks to the internet, several African countries have managed to cut down considerably the time needed to set up companies. Examples include: introducing a standardised memorandum of association; enabling online publication; consolidating name checking, registration fee payment, tax registration, and company registration procedures; and shortening the time required to process completed applications. Rwanda (at 8th position worldwide) has one of the shortest procedures in the world for starting a business.

• One of the biggest outstanding issues is trade restrictions: Ernst & Young highlighted these specific issues earlier this year in its 2012 Africa Attractiveness Report. Such barriers can be explained by the lack of diversification among African countries. As neighbours produce similar products, there is no incentive to trade with each other.



One key observation is that all the top African countries in the Doing Business survey have a mixed legal regime, including a common law element: both Mauritius and Rwanda have a mixed Napoleonic Code/common law regime, South Africa and Botswana have a mixed Romano-Germanic/common law legal system. Most of the bottom-ranking countries have a Napoleonic regime. Looking at the domination of the common law countries in the Doing Business survey (the global top four countries are all pure common law countries), this is not surprising. Please see our recent article on the shift to common law, which is more adapted to the reality of modern business considerations.



Many African countries rank ahead of the BRIC countries in the survey. These results reflect those of the Democracy Index and the Corruption Perceptions index produced by Transparency International in which a number of African countries similarly achieve better rankings.



Does the ease of regulation really improve business or hinder it? Perhaps an extreme example, but consider Somalia (although not ranked in the survey), despite the absence of stable government, it would probably not rank at the bottom. Somalia's telecom system is often used as an example illustrating that self-regulation can stimulate entrepreneurship and be successful. Despite the lack of telecom regulations, Somalia is the cheapest country in Africa to make international telephone calls, as 11 telecom operators compete without a clear regulatory framework (to read our recent article Somalia's success story in telecoms, please click here).

So, does growth really need the most straightforward regulations? Probably not, and there are many examples (including some of the BRIC countries) which support this answer. But can straightforward regulations trigger growth? Probably. And for Africa, which is still suffering from a bad (and often incorrect) image, effective but simple regulation coupled with a strong transparent legal framework could be the key to attracting investors.
How easy is it to do business in Africa?

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Strategic AsiaImplications of Istanbul's 2020 Bid

Ashish Mishra

Between now and Sept. 7, 2013, Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid will all compete to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. If Istanbul wins, the city will represent the first Islamic nation in the history of the Games to hold what is often referred to as "the greatest show on earth." If Istanbul does win it, the door will open for Jakarta to mount a serious bid before 2032 — to cement its claim as one of the command megacities of a new Asia in which the established order is replaced by the rising emerging global powers of Asia. The outcome for 2020 is by no means easy to predict and the road to Buenos Aires, where the announcement will be made, is riddled with complexities and political speculation. Rome, Baku and Doha have already dropped out or failed to qualify, which leaves three in the running.

In current poll position, Tokyo scores highly on its technical bid and is currently the bookies' favorite to win in September. However, being a front runner is not always the best place as Paris found out to its detriment in 2005. The city failed to secure enough votes in the second round of voting in Singapore and the Olympics went to London, considered at the time to be an outsider.

The subsequent and dramatic success of London 2012 has taken many by surprise not only because of the huge cost of delivery — approximately .5 billion funded by commercial revenues, public taxation, top tier sponsorship and media rights — but also due to the linkage of legacy as a means of justifying the large sum and using the economic value of the games to regenerate large swathes of brownfield industrial land and tackle serious pockets of deprivation.

In fact the true cost of the London 2012 games is yet to be properly audited by the public accounts committee. This has resulted in plenty of sound bites by researchers, politicians, administrators and sponsors who want to illustrate the value added of hosting the games. No person failed to be impressed by the spectacle of the Olympics and Paralympics or many of the new initiatives introduced such as the London Games Makers (volunteers), sustainable construction, the use of public transport and the performance of athletes during the Games. The real question is whether the costs justified the returns and on this delicate matter the evidence is still to come in.

It is easy to see why despite the costs a city wants to host the games. Firstly, although the decision rests with the bidding city as to whether to actually submit a bid, there is now far ranging support from national and international bodies, top level sponsors and the International Olympic Committee. The revenue brought in from media rights, broadcast fees and sponsorship to televise the Games has exploded over the last decade with almost .87 billion being generated by the IOC for the 2010 winter and 2012 summer games.

This suggests that as media channels expand and alternative technologies take effect — such as digital streaming, social media, free channels and satellite tracking — there will be a subsequent uplift in revenue returns. In addition, the amount raised by different sponsorship levels has increased with the prospect of more partnership deals. Olympic Partner sponsorships will start to expire and parties may drop out. By 2020, Panasonic, Acer and Samsung could all viably vacate, leaving more lucrative negotiations for the IOC with new companies that reflect the changing face of global economic power in a world pivoting economically toward the East.

Although the IOC has preferred to stay with 12 top global sponsors, this position might easily change especially as the National Organizing Committee of the Games, those actually responsible for delivering the Games in the host city, would be left to raise revenues through national sponsorship deals. This opens up the contest when evaluating the potential bid of each candidate city.

Madrid claims that most of the infrastructure requirements to put on the Olympics in 2020 have already been met and therefore it would be able to deliver a viable proposition. Yet the current economic climate for Spain is daunting and with 56.4 percent youth unemployment and a projected contraction of economic growth of 1.2 percent coupled with falling incomes, fiscal contraction, credit scarcity and a shrinking economy, one might argue that Madrid has a steeper climb in terms of convincing IOC members that the games should come back to Europe in seven years' time.

Istanbul benefits from a modern aspiring Turkey eager to present its moderate Islamic credentials and its rising importance as a geopolitical force on the banks of the Bosphorus straddling Europe, Asia and the Middle East. With a projected national economic growth rate of 4.1 percent in 2013, Turkey's largest city maybe the wild card to knock Tokyo off its perch.

A successful bid will also add impetus to Turkey's modernizing credentials fueling speculation about its possible membership of the European Union.

Istanbul further claims a rich cultural history, making the prospect of the accompanying Cultural Olympiad an interesting mix. The downside of Istanbul's bid is that most of the infrastructure is yet to be built and allegations of corruption still exist within the system. The possibility of widening conflict with Syria will clearly be in focus as we head towards Buenos Aires and the IOC decision in 2013.

This all plays well for Tokyo, whose advocates have downplayed the negative impact on energy provision resulting from the Fukushima nuclear disaster and argued that giving the games to Tokyo (the last time the city won it was 1964) will be a safe pair of hands.

The Japanese have submitted ambitious plans for the expansion of stadiums and most observers believe that the funding is already in place. Yet 2013 may not be a straight run for Tokyo and Japan with continuing doubt about the escalation of its problems with China and South and North Korea.

The IOC is not meant to be a politically biased organization and ascribes to the principles laid down in the Olympic Charter, yet there are some who believe otherwise. In 2018 the Winter Olympic Games will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and it remains to be seen whether the Summer Games will go to Asia.

The implications of a successful bid for Istanbul will be far-ranging for the Islamic world and help tackle negative perceptions felt on both sides of the divide. This presents an enormous opportunity for Jakarta as it advances its own brand of modernism coupled with infrastructure development and hosts an intrinsically young population with aspirations that now mirror the developed world. Indonesia is once again tipped to become an economic giant with a GDP exceeding 192 trillion and it will be only matter of time before the Summer Olympics arrives in its archipelago.

Ashish Mishra is the CEO of Strategic Asia Europe, an affiliate of the consultancy firm Strategic Asia Indonesia. He can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Content provided by: Strategic Asia Europe

As investors wait to see what's in store for the West's economic future, money has been flowing into emerging markets, with funds focused on these enjoying their best start to a year since 2006, reports the Financial Times.

It may seem as if the developed world's economic future is on a knife edge. So it's not surprising that investors are looking elsewhere to pledge bets for future growth. Brazil, say, and India are frequently tipped as investment opportunities, while what we know as 'developed markets' including Japan, Germany, France and Italy become increasingly unattractive.

Market commentators are asking whether this trend is set to continue, or if developed markets will reassert their dominance.

But Mindful Money wants to know: is the term 'emerging markets' outdated?

First of all, what is an emerging market?

This list includes the likes of China, South Africa and Singapore - the countries that slot into this category vary from very big to very small, and are considered fast-paced emerging economies because of their developments and reforms. Meanwhile, developed markets, as you'd expect, include USA, Western Europe, Australia, and Japan.

But in a changing economic landscape this surely has to shift? After all, isn't China known as an economic powerhouse? According to The Economist many people find the term 'emerging markets' outdated, but no new, specific term has yet to gain much traction.


However, a few new categories have emerged, such as one of the best-known acronym in investment: BRICs.

Written by Jim O'Neill and his team at Goldman Sachs, the report over a decade ago - entitled "Building better global economic BRICs" - predicted that Brazil, Russia, India and China would account for a much larger share of the world economy by 2011. Their predictions have come true in impressive style, with China now the world's second-largest economy.

Now, we've got the CIVITS (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa) and frontier markets such as Africa also on the investment map.

Yet the same Jim O'Neill believes that the traditional distinction between developed and developing countries is outdated. China, Russia, India, Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, South Korea and Indonesia are no longer developing countries. He suggests that these markets be called Growth 8, predicting that the combined GDP of these eight countries will account for about a third of the world economy by 2020. Meanwhile, the G7 countries - Germany, the United States, Japan, Great Britain, Canada, France and Italy - will account for just over 40%.

"With mature markets, people think they can predict them - despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary, and investors are totally convinced that they know that "there is now cause for optimism" or "the market hasn't yet bottomed out" or whatever. In a new area, they might not have quite the same level of unjustified confidence in their own prescience - so they might ironically be safer."

Of course, even though investors are willing to take a punt on whatever they might deem "emerging markets" they are still considered volatile with important questions to be asked on corporate governance and the risk involved. Perhaps it's time for a new classification so that various asset management teams can be sure they are applying their tools to the right markets?

Source: Mindful Money
Original article: