A new acronym has arisen in the world of economics for up-and-coming countries: MINT. Can you guess what each letter stands for? Before you Google the answer, let me tell you that what you find may be unexpected. The MINT countries, according to economist Jim O’Neill, are made up of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey. And, as unlikely as it may seem, these nations are set to become the world’s next economic giants. Here’s what O’Neill had to say on the topic, via the BBC:

What [the MINT countries] really share beyond having a lot of people, is that at least for the next 20 years, they have really good “inner” demographics – they are all going to see a rise in the number of people eligible to work relative to those not working.

This is the envy of many developed countries but also two of the Bric countries, China and Russia. So, if Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey get their act together, some of them could match Chinese-style double-digit rates between 2003 and 2008.

Something else three of them share, which Mexican Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade Kuribrena pointed out to me, is that they all have geographical positions that should be an advantage as patterns of world trade change….

What I also realised after talking to Meade Kuribrena, is that the creation of the Mint acronym could spur pressure for Nigeria to become a member of the G20, as the other Mints already are. …

Economically three of them — Mexico, Indonesia and Nigeria — are commodity producers and only Turkey isn’t. This contrasts with the Bric countries where two — Brazil and Russia — are commodity producers and the other two — China and India — aren’t.

In terms of wealth, Mexico and Turkey are at about the same level, earning annually about $10,000 (£6,100) per head. This compares with $3,500 (£2,100) per head in Indonesia and $1,500 (£900) per head in Nigeria, which is on a par with India. They are a bit behind Russia – $14,000 (£8,500) per head – and Brazil on $11,300 (£6,800), but still a bit ahead of China – $6,000 (£3,600).

Move over BRIC, there’s a new four-letter powerhouse in town and some believe the members are even more solid than their predecessors.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

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