Strategic HR Alert: CIVETS The New Players on the World’s Stage

One to the key skills the HR professional is supposed to have today is that of being an “environmental scanner.” In other words you are paying attention to the things in the world that may have some impact on your company. Obviously since we are in a global marketplace today understanding what is happening on the world’s stage is vitally important. So here is your strategic HR alert. CIVETS are the new players on the world stage and you should be aware of who they are.
In the material to study for the SPHR all students are made aware of the acronym BRIC, which stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China. They have become economic powerhouses outside of main set of countries that include the U.S., the UK, Germany, France, etc. This term was coined in 2001 and we have seen what these four countries have done economically, especially China. Well the guy who coined this term has coined another to refer to another set of countries that everyone needs to pay attention to for the potential impact they will have in world markets.
CIVETS stands for Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa. According to Robert Hsu, writing in Investor Place, “Each one of these countries has its positives. All of them boast a large, young and growing population, and each can honestly say they have a diverse economy. Politically speaking, each of the CIVETS are relatively stable, but remember that the term “stable” is a little more tenuous when discussing emerging market countries.”
We have already seen the impact Egypt has had on the world. With the change in government in the “Arab spring” uprisings the changes in Egypt caused a lot of upheaval in the Middle East. The role Egypt will play is now unsure with the new leadership in place.
Writer Robert Hsu feels the key player in the CIVETS group is Indonesia. It has been growing rapidly and is rich in resources. Hsu reports “Last year Indonesia expanded at an impressive rate of 4.4% — especially considering the economic landscape.” Additionally however, it will have an impact in other arenas also. It has a population of just over 250 million people and 215 million or so are Muslim. It also has a huge labor force. You can view the statistics on Indonesia here.
You may be wondering why this is important to you. The answer to this has multiple reasons. First they may be a good market for your product. Your company may do business with Indonesia and it will be important for you to understand the country and its customs. Your 401(k) may be invested partially in some Asian stocks and thus most likely Indonesia. So it would be good to know more about them.
Another player emerging here in the Atlanta area is South Africa. The South African Chamber of Commerce is making its presence known and is working on establishing many contacts for business. I understand they have some excellent wines as well.
The point of this post is to just make you aware of the changing global landscape and to help you keep up on the players. The next time you are at an executive meeting bring up CIVETS, making sure you remember all the countries, and see who is up-to-date with you.

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