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BRICS is passe, time now for '3G': Citi

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It might not be just anymore when it comes to emerging markets but '3G' economies as well.

India and China along with nine other economies have been identified as or 3G by financial services major Citigroup.

3G indicates sources of growth potential and of profitable investment opportunities.

"We identify the 11 countries which have the most promising growth prospects. Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Mongolia, Nigeria, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are our 3G countries," Citi said in a report.

Goldman Sachs' coinage 'BRIC'(Brazil, Russia, India and China) has gained prominence in describing high growth economies. Late last year, South Africa joined the four-nation grouping, which is now known as BRICS.

The Citi report, prepared by analysts Willem Buiter and Ebrahim Rahbari, noted  that many of the existing coinages, including BRICS, have "outlived their usefulness".

It said 11 countries identified are poor today and have decades of catch-up growth to look forward to.

"We hold the view that categories emerging markets, advanced economies, developing countries, BRICS, Next Eleven or the Growth Markets are all labels belonging to classification schemes that either have outlived their usefulness or are unlikely to ever have any," the two analysts said.

Next Eleven refers to emerging economies —- Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Turkey and Vietnam. Growth Markets are BRICs plus Mexico, South Korea, Turkey and Indonesia.

The 3G grouping is based on a weighted average of six growth drivers -- measure of domestic saving/investment, demographic prospects, health, education, quality of institutions and policies and trade openness.

According to the report, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, Thailand and other countries would need to implement major adjustments, including raising domestic saving and investment rates substantially, to join the list of 3G countries.

"Countries including Iran and North Korea could find it easier to join the 3G set, once they achieve political transitions or transformations required to release their economies (and societies) from their decades-old straitjackets," it added.

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