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4 More Emerging Markets That Deserve Exporters' Attention

On: March 7, 2022    |    By: Richard Corson Richard Corson    |    4 min. read

4 More Emerging Markets That Deserve Exporters' Attention | Shipping SolutionsIn my previous article, I provided a list of 22 emerging markets and took a closer look at four countries that have a free trade agreement  (FTA) with the United States: Mexico, Korea, South Korea and Peru. In this article, we venture beyond the FTAs and identify opportunities for exporters in the emerging markets of Brazil, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Indonesia and Poland.


During my career with the U.S. Commercial Service, I spoke with many companies that wished to explore opportunities in the world’s sixth-largest country by population (nearly 213 million people), only to surrender to its complex and onerous import tax and tariff regime; often frustrating regulatory environment; challenging linguistic situation; and, in some locations, antiquated infrastructure. Nevertheless, many American exporters willing to invest the time to slowly and strategically cultivate the market reap significant rewards in this huge and diverse country.

Thinking strategically, one agent or distributor for the entire country will not suffice, unless it is an entity with country-wide capabilities. Instead, an agent or distributor in the six largest cities in descending order—Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Salvador, Fortaleza and Belo Horizonte—is much more preferable. Also, appoint an agent or distributor with the ability to determine your shipment’s taxes and tariff and who can navigate the regulatory waters.

The leading export sectors according to the U.S. Commercial Service Country Commercial Guide (CCG) for Brazil are: architecture, construction and engineering; agriculture; defense, aviation and security; chemicals; education and training; energy; finance; franchising; healthcare; information and communications technologies and telecommunications; and infrastructure.

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The UAE, a federation of seven emirates, is growing in popularity as a lucrative export market. Dubai and the capital city of Abu Dhabi are the prime locations, and a sound strategy is to appoint an agent or distributor in each of these dynamic and vibrant cities. American companies must remain alert to the possibility of third party diversion. Companies should know there is a history of products moving from the UAE to Iran and that an embargo exists on exports to Iran. Thus due diligence, always a very important part of the export process, is especially critical when exporting to the UAE.

The leading export sectors according to the CCG are: aerospace and aviation; clean tech and environmental technologies; defense; design and construction; digital and information and communications technology; health care and life sciences; and oil and gas exploration and technology.


Comprising over 17,000 islands and a population of 273 million people from many diverse cultures, Indonesia is a huge country that should garner a great deal of attention from many exporters. Exporters typically appoint an agent or distributor based in Jakarta, the capital city of 10.5 million inhabitants.

The leading export sectors according to the CCG are: agriculture; aviation; education and training; energy; financial services and technology; franchising; health care; and information and telecommunication technology.


Poland, a country of 38 million people and a member of the European Union (EU), has a strong affinity for U.S. products and services. Companies typically seek agents or distributors in Warsaw to cover the entire country. However, some companies might want to divide the market into a northern half with coverage based out of Warsaw, and a southern half with a Krakow-based agent or distributor. In addition to the Polish market, Poland can serve as an entry point to other member states of the EU.

The leading export sectors according to the CCG are: advanced manufacturing; agriculture; education; defense; digital technologies; energy; infrastructure and intelligent transportation systems.

With proper planning to mitigate political and economic risk, American companies can take advantage of the potential offered in these markets. A focus on developing market share over the long term, combined with patience and an ability to adapt to changing circumstances, is essential for success.

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Richard Corson

About the Author: Richard Corson

Richard Corson is the president of Corson International Trade Consulting LLC, which creates and implements international business expansion plans. He works primarily with small- and medium-sized companies—manufacturers and service providers—in all industries.

Richard has 33 years of experience in international trade/exporting/marketing. He began his career with the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, International Trade Administration, in 1990 as an International Trade Specialist (ITS) in Cincinnati and went to Michigan in 1994 where he worked as an ITS in Detroit and then opened the East Michigan U.S. Export Assistance Center, which he directed from 1995 until his retirement in December 2019. Richard was also the director of the Detroit U.S. Export Assistance Center from 2018-2019. Richard has worked closely with the U.S. Foreign Service at American embassies and consulates around the world and with many agencies within the Commerce Department and other parts of the U.S. government.

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