Investment Adventures in Emerging Markets


Growth opportunities in emerging markets

Emerging markets offer dynamic growth opportunities for investors, from consumer goods to logistics to technology. Find out more from Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity’s Chetan Sehgal.

Many consumers probably don’t realize the importance emerging markets play in their everyday lives. Not only as providers of the raw materials powering their favorite high-tech devices, but also as drivers of innovation in areas like electric vehicles, green energy and as providers of information technology (IT) services. Rapid technological changes have also opened up a diverse set of opportunities in emerging markets for investors.

A significant part of the “next billion” of middle-class consumers will come from emerging markets, which we believe will continue to drive both consumption growth and premiumization. “Premiumization” essentially means an emphasis on producing premium, higher-quality products (that consumers are willing to pay more for) over cheaper, often inferior goods.

Consumer penetration and premiumization

Emergence of online platforms and supporting infrastructure of logistics and payments have augmented the growth in middle class to drive penetration and premiumization of both goods and services in many emerging markets. This has created growing opportunities across e-commerce, logistics, food, mobility and financial services.

For example, India now boasts a unique digital payment system, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which has accelerated growth in mobile app-based payments—total UPI-based transactions rose to US$84 billion in fiscal year 2023, with transaction value up 65% year-over-year.1 Many of the key financial services of lending and insurance are also provided online, which has enhanced reach and speed of delivery.

High tech and renewable energy

Emerging markets dominate segments of the technology and renewable energy industries, which  include semiconductors and solar panels as well as information IT services.

Demand for semiconductors is forecast to grow in the coming years, with demand for increased processing power to drive artificial intelligence applications and the internet-of-things. Taiwan currently produces over 60% of the world’s semiconductors and over 90% of the most advanced ones.2 While developed markets including the United States are striving to reduce their reliance on markets overseas for these vital components by building manufacturing plants at home, emerging markets are participating in that asset creation process even though it might be a costly and lengthy process.

National commitments to reduce carbon emissions are also driving renewable energy demand, and emerging markets have a vital role to play. Technology advancements in renewable energy will enable a lower cost of generating electricity for many of the thermal energy-dependent emerging market economies, which should further support their growth.

The theme of this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) was “Unlocking the renewable energy future in emerging markets,” recognizing the vital importance of renewable energy for these markets. The WEF stated that accelerating the deployment of renewable energy can be a significant opportunity for individual countries to bolster their energy security, reduce reliance on fossil fuel, and meet their net-zero targets.

The definition of growth stocks is changing

New industry groups are emerging, including electric vehicles, batteries and renewable energy, which are growing rapidly, but are coming from a low base. The definition of what constitutes growth in the market keeps changing and investors must keep this in mind. Many sectors in emerging markets which were once considered growth are no longer growing as fast. We think it’s important for investors to be selective—we look at prospects of individual companies rather than make distinctions between growth and value. Geopolitical risks are always a consideration within emerging markets, as policy can quickly change course.



All investments involve risks, including possible loss of principal.

Equity securities are subject to price fluctuation and possible loss of principal.

International investments are subject to special risks, including currency fluctuations and social, economic and political uncertainties, which could increase volatility. These risks are magnified in emerging markets.

The government’s participation in the economy is still high and, therefore, investments in China will be subject to larger regulatory risk levels compared to many other countries.

There are special risks associated with investments in Greater China, including less liquidity, expropriation, confiscatory taxation, international trade tensions, nationalization, and exchange control regulations and rapid inflation, all of which can have a negative impact. Investments in Taiwan could be adversely affected by its political and economic relationship with China.


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1. Source: National Payments Corporation of India.

2. Source: The Economist. “Taiwan’s dominance of the chip industry makes it more important.” March 6, 2023.

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