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5 Of The Top 10 Fastest Growing Countries In 2021 Will Be In The Caribbean

GEORGETOWN — Five of the Top 10 fastest growing countries in 2021 will be in the Caribbean, according to The Economist’s analytical guide “The World in 2021.”

Macau is set to be the world’s fastest growing country in 2021, it placed number one on the list.

The autonomous island on the south coast of China, is forecast to see GDP growth of 35 percent next year, which will “bring only some relief from the catastrophic collapse in tourism and gambling that lopped two-thirds off the territory’s economy as COVID-19 struck.”

At number two is Guyana, with a predicted growth rate of 23 percent. The South American-Caribbean country “stands alone on this list as a country barely affected by the virus and is instead riding a wave of offshore oil development.” Guyana has also welcomed generous infrastructure assistance from China.

Libya comes in third place with 20.9 percent. Libya’s high growth rate “reflects a modest recovery from catastrophe, in this case civil war, which will include a significant increase in oil output,” according to the report.

The top 10 is dominated by small states, half of them Caribbean island economies that are counting on the return of tourism to boost growth. Lockdowns have hit tourism hard in the British Virgin Islands, Sint Maarten, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Lucia and the Maldives which sit at four, five, eight, nine, and 10 on the list, respectively. The report described their growth rates as “striking” but said they will “represent only a partial rebound” from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Albania comes in at number seven, with predicted growth of 8.5 percent. It’s economy suffered the impact of COVID-19 “as well as contagion from the deep recession in Italy, a vital trade partner, but will regain all the ground lost in 2020,” according to The Economist.

The largest country in the top 10 is Peru, with a growth rate of 9.2 percent, reflecting “rising copper output and higher prices.”

The UK is forecast to experience GDP growth of 6.9 percent. The report highlights the impact of Brexit and the possibility of starting the year with no new trade agreement with its largest partner.

However, the impact of COVID-19 will be “far greater,” the report said. “A late and poorly designed response brought a terrible toll in lives and economic damage, though decisive fiscal interventions mitigated the blow for many,” according to The Economist.

The United States is predicted to see a growth rate of 3.6 percent. Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election will shift policy left of center. The coronavirus has hit hard with the country suffering nearly 20 percent of recorded COVID-19 deaths despite having just over four percent of the world’s population.

The report forecasts that the “bounceback will be underwhelming; America’s $21.5 trillion economy won’t return to 2019 levels until late in 2021.”

The top 10 fastest growing countries:

  1. Macau (35%)
  2. Guyana (23%)
  3. Libya (20.9%)
  4. British Virgin Islands (11.5%)
  5. Sint Maarten (9.3%)
  6. Peru (9.2%)
  7. Albania (8.5%)
  8. Antigua & Barbuda (8%)
  9. Maldives (8%)
  10. St. Lucia (8%)
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