In our previous post on trends driving the language services industry, we made reference to the McKinsey Quarterly Report from April 2017. It provides an excellent overview of global trends that will have a significant impact on most businesses over the next few decades, including agriculture and agribusiness.

One trend the McKinsey report mentions is the impact that “billion person markets” will have on global business. These markets include India, China, Africa and Southeast Asia (ICASA). The agriculture sector has already seen significant growth in most of these regions and demand is likely to increase as these countries’ populations continue to grow. By 2050, the world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion people from roughly 7.7 billion people now. Much of this growth will be in ICASA markets. The demand for food will only increase, as will the need for products that will help these markets feed their growing populations.

These trends combined with high economic growth in ICASA regions (currently surpassing growth in the majority of OECD economies), suggest great opportunities for US agribusiness and agricultural products. ICASA regions will likely be the key drivers of global business and globalization for some time to come. As McKinsey points out, these markets are urbanizing very quickly, leapfrogging dated technology still used in many OECD countries and have young populations that are increasingly globally connected. A relatively strong middle class is emerging and as this continues, so too will demand for diverse goods and services that originate from both inside and outside their home markets.

The table below compares the IMF’s expected growth rates in ICASA regions to selected OECD countries in 2017 and 2018. (Africa is not included, because of the hugely different growth patterns in individual countries).

Country 2017 2018
India 7.20% 7.70%
China 6.60% 6.20%
Africa N/A N/A
SE Asia    
Indonesia 5.10% 5.30%
Malaysia 4.50% 4.70%
Philippines 6.80% 6.90%
Cambodia 6.90% 6.80%
Vietnam 6.50% 6.30%
United States 2.30% 2.50%
United Kingdom 2.20% 1.50%
Germany 1.70% 1.60%
Japan 1.20% 0.80%

While there are unique and fundamental problems in each of these markets that could prevent expected growth—infrastructure, digital infrastructure and sustainable urbanization—each of them holds tremendous potential for economic expansion. As the McKinsey Report says, “the more these markets overcome their unique challenges, the more central their role will be on the global stage.”

To effectively conduct business in ICASA markets, it’s essential to translate marketing materials, technical manuals and other content into the languages of these markets.  Given the size of these markets and expected growth, supporting these languages would likely provide a good return on investment. Gateway Globalization provides guidance on the most widely spoken and appropriate languages for these markets and then provide translations that are culturally appropriate and linguistically accurate to support your expansion into these regions. Contact us today to request a quote for translation services and to go over the appropriate services that your business may require.




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