There are three unusual, relatively small regions of the world that aren’t talked about very often. Many interesting countries inhabit these regions. The clever international Alpha Male 2.0 can take advantage of some of these nations.
The first of these three regions, and by far the largest and most well-known is Eastern Europe. While there is no consistent official list, by most definitions Eastern Europe includes the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, the former Soviet nations of Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine as well as the more “central” European nations including Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia, plus some of the more southern nations such as Albania, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, and Montenegro.
Sometimes Austria, Poland, Turkey, and even Russia are considered within Eastern Europe, though I personally don’t. (I’ve always considered Russia as its own category; a huge, bankrupt, corrupt, failed superpower whose major cities are run by a dictator. The USA may even end up looking like Russia down the road.)
Eastern Europe today is a mish–mash of third and second-world countries, most of whom are shitshows with corrupt or incompetent governments. Eastern Europe gets a lot of press in the West for its more attractive and traditional women and lower cost of living for those who don’t mind roughing it a little. Both of these stereotypes are generally true. My interest in this article is the economics of these countries, as well as their future.
The good thing about Eastern Europe is that while most countries there are corrupt and/or mismanaged and probably will be for the foreseeable future, there are several diamond-in-the-roughs which are actually embracing free markets, property rights, capitalism, and rule of law as best they can within economic and cultural limitations. These countries might have brighter futures. These countries, at least in my opinion, are Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Montenegro.
I say might have brighter futures because all countries in Eastern Europe have two major problems. The first one is that dictator in Russia. It is now a matter of precedent that Putin can roll his tanks into pretty much any country in Eastern Europe he wants, take it over on a de facto basis, and neither the USA, Western Europe, or the United Nations will do anything about it other than wag their fingers at him, to which he just laughs.
This means that any nation bordering Russia has a nonzero risk of being conquered by Russia at any point in the future. With some nations this may be a 2% Rule situation, but with others it may not be. It’s hard to say.
The second and larger problem is that Eastern Europe is in Europe. Defenders of Eastern Europe seem to forget this basic fact. Europe is collapsing right before our very eyes, even faster than the USA. Some people seem to think that when Western Europe collapses in a few years Eastern Europe will be just fine because they don’t allow as much immigration or whatever. Wrong. When Western Europe goes down, most or all of Eastern Europe will likely go with it. Eastern European countries won’t feel the pain nearly as much as Western nations like the UK or Germany, that’s very true, but Eastern Europe is still going to get thwacked pretty damn hard regardless of how nationalist or capitalist they are.
This is a tiny, weird region wedged between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea that really isn’t Europe or Asia. It includes the countries of Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. While Azerbaijan is the typical cluster-fuck country similar to Eastern Europe and the Middle East, Armenia and Georgia are surprisingly smart little countries doing a lot of things right to attract foreign money, business, and investment. Outside of the “watch out for Putin” problem (which certainly applies to Georgia), I think these countries are going to do reasonably well in the future. I have my own five flags plans for both of them (which I can’t discuss right now in detail, for the reasons I covered here).
Central Asia is another region no one ever talks about. It’s a little ball of countries right in the middle of the continent. It generally includes most of “the Stans”; Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Some people also consider Mongolia Central Asia as well.
Although Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are sort of trying (kind of), all these countries are pretty much all terrible at the moment. However, the future of this region is… interesting.
First, they are far enough from Europe and economically independent to the point where a collapse in Europe won’t smash these countries like those in Eastern Europe or even in the Caucuses.
Second, they’re in Asia, and Asia is rising. It is very likely that these countries will slowly, ever so slowly start to improve as the rest of Asia rises, similar to Myanmar.
Third, these countries will directly benefit from China’s massive, multitrillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiate I’ve talked about before. These new trade routes run right through Central Asia.
It’s entirely possible that Central Asia will be the “next” growth region once SE Asia reaches the first world. This would mean a bright future, but one still pretty far off.
I have one eye on the Central Asia region and will for quite a long time. We’ll see what happens.