Not the Third World, but economies -- especially in Eastern Europe, Asia and South America -- which are judged to be growing out of what might have been called Third World status a few years back. They were a favoured investment destination in the mid-1990s until the collapse of Malaysia's currency caused something of a crash in their stock markets: but most have recovered fairly well and they're particularly attractive for large American and European multinationals in the infrastructure business: transport, power, telecommunications and the like are big business in emerging economies.

The Economist, which surely counts as some kind of authority, includes the following countries in its list of emerging markets: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Egypt, Israel, South Africa, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and -- although this might be disputed -- Russia.

Basically, everyone outside the G8 countries who counts, plus a few extra.

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