company's export marketing strategy will depend to a large
extent on whether the target market is to be found in an
industrialised or a developing country.
The terms industrialised or developed countries
generally refer to the member countries of the Organization
for Economic co-operation and Development (OECD) - they
are also often referred to as the First World (perhaps
unfairly so) They include the United States, Canada, the
western European countries, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
They tend on the whole to be wealthy (i.e. they have a
higher per capita income than most other countries) and
they are oriented towards a free market economy. Population
growth is often stagnant and the population tends to be
an ageing one. Industrialised countries offer markets for
a wide range of products in the luxury and high-tech categories.
Developing countries on the other hand refer
to the more than 150 African, Asian and Latin American
countries which are economically less advanced than the
First World. Some of the characteristics of developing
- A low average real per capita income
- A high proportion of the labour force being involved
in agriculture and other primary activities
- Low life expectancy
- A high rate of illiteracy
- A high rate of population growth
- In contrast to developed countries, third world
- To have serious shortages of foreign exchange
- To be more protectionist about their economies and
industries than industrialised countries. (i.e. Trade is
restricted in order to protect local producers against
competition from foreign produces of the same product(s),
as well as to stimulate employment).
Developing countries have a burgeoning youthful
population and a great need for necessities at low prices.
They often provide lucrative markets for services and products
associated with infrastructure upgrading, particularly
where development aid is available to fund certain projects.
Economies in transition
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, a new
category, Economies in Transition, has come about. These
include most of the former Soviet Union countries and often
include South Africa. Conditions are not as bad as in developing
countries but neither are they developed. The potential
in these markets is great, as are the risks.
Where does South Africa fall?
South Africa is generally acknowledged
as having a dual economy. This is because South Africa,
while in many respects a developing country (characterised
by a large rural population growth rate, relatively low
GDP per capita, etc.), nevertheless displays several attributes
of a developed country (evidenced by, for example, a relatively
sophisticated industrial sector, high living standards
amongst certain sectors of the population, an excellent
banking sector, good roads, a sophisticated telecommunications