There are still 24 countries which are classified under the ‘emerging’ status; countries that have characteristics of a developed market, but do not yet meet standards to be one.

The traditional terms to describe the largest developing countries remain the same: BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India & China) and CIVETS (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey & South Africa)

South East Asia

  • Seen as the new kid on the block and has been pegged as one of ‘the next e-commerce gold rush’ locations.
  • In 2017 the region’s largest e-commerce markets were Malaysia and Thailand, but by 2020 these could be overtaken by Vietnam and Indonesia.


  • Online sales are expected to reach $85 billion by 2019.
  • Brazil is Latin America’s biggest ecommerce market, followed by Chile, Mexico and Argentina.
  • Chile is becoming increasingly attractive for ecommerce as over the last few years poverty levels have reduced from 38 per cent to 8 per cent.

The Middle East and Africa

  • This region’s growth is largely down to digital progression and increase in mobile phone users. By 2019 there will be an estimated 780 million mobile phone users in the Middle East and Africa.
  • Predictions point to Saud Arabia, the UAE and Egypt to be the fastest growing ecommerce markets globally.
  • Although Africa is still suffering from a lack of infrastructure the ecommerce market is booming; essentially due to new payment methods such as M-PESA, access to digital finance and growing disposable incomes.
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