Mexico, Morocco, Vietnam are winners in today’s fractured world

This story is part of the global megatrend Political divisions

Busy street in Vietnam by Scopio from Noun Project (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

February 2024
Mexico, Morocco and Vietnam are among countries emerging as winners in a world of growing divisions in international politics.

The US-China rivalry, as well as the conflicts in Ukraine-Russia and the Middle East have pushed other countries to take sides.

The US and China are becoming more suspicious of each other. They’re in a race to increase their military strength and have put restrictions on the products they trade with each other.

Also, the EU, the US and Japan have teamed up to punish and isolate Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Russia is not totally cut off from the world as it has support from countries including the Central African Republic and Iran.

Two winners from all the turmoil are Mexico and Vietnam in part because they haven’t picked sides and have become key middle men in world trade.

For example, many international businesses, including Chinese companies, have opened factories in Mexico and Vietnam and hired workers there instead of having production in China.

That’s because it’s become easier and cheaper to sell products that are made in Mexico or Vietnam compared with goods manufactured in China, which no longer is the obvious location for cheap manufacturing.

Morocco has benefited in part because it’s become a neutral port used by international companies to ship products around the world.

Also, Morocco is positioning itself to sell more electricity to European countries that want to stop importing energy from Russia.

Reference shelf:
These Five Countries Are Key Economic ‘Connectors’ in a Fragmenting World (Bloomberg)

Few countries are better placed than Vietnam to get rich (The Economist)

Chinese Traders and Moroccan Ports: How Russia Flouts Global Tech Bans (New York Times)

Can Morocco solve Europe’s energy crisis? (BBC)

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