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noun [countable/uncountable]

Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey: the fast-growing economies of these countries considered as a group

'The Financial Times estimated that the seven largest emerging economies can hypothetically be called a new G7: four BRICS members – Brazil, Russia, India and China and three countries of the so-called MINT – Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey, will have a combined GDP of $37.8 trillion in 2014 … However, the long established G7 group of industrialized nations: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US are expected to have an output of $34.5 trillion.'

RT 9th October 2014

Up until recently, hearing the word mint would most likely give us the choice of two mental connections – one a strong smelling plant with small green leaves, and the other the process or place in which money is made. Mint has always cropped up in various guises, from the breath-freshening sweets you pop in your mouth to an alternative to pristine, perfect etc (in mint condition) or large amounts of money (make a mint), but all such uses can trace their way back to these two fundamental ideas. However in 2014 the string of letters m-i-n-t branched out into the world of acronyms, representing a new concept which is in no way edible, but has everything to do with money.

economic forecasters predict that the MINTs have the potential to join the top 10 largest economies
in the world

MINT, often used in the phrase the MINT countries, is an acronym of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey, and is used in financial spheres to characterize these countries as an economic group with growing influence. Why these four countries in particular? The answer seems to lie, not in obvious economic boosters like technology or natural resources, but demographics. As well as having a large population, all these countries are 'younger' than many of their competitors. This means that they're likely to see a significant rise in the number of people eligible to work relative to those not working – a situation which is the envy of many developed nations or countries which hitherto have been economic powerhouses, such as China and Russia. Another key advantage of three of the MINT countries is their geographical location. Turkey is both European and Asian, Indonesia is at the heart of South-East Asia and has connections with China, and Mexico is nestled between the USA and the rest of Latin America.

Though it may take some years, possibly as many as 30, economic forecasters predict that the MINTs have the potential to join the top 10 largest economies in the world. They also form part of what in economic circles is sometimes referred to as the next eleven (or N-11, as opposed to the G7 (group of seven) wealthiest countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and USA. The next eleven, which also includes Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam, are a group of countries identified by analysts as in a situation of investment, stability and industrial growth which gives them the potential to become some of the world's largest economies in the 21st century.

Background – MINT

The acronym MINT was popularized by Jim O' Neill, a British economist best known for coining its predecessor, the term BRIC. First used in 2001, BRIC is a grouping acronym used in economics to refer to the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, who were previously considered to be at a similar, influential stage of economic development. The acronym quickly became synonymous with the idea of a shift in global economic power away from developed countries and towards the developing world.

Following BRIC's pattern of usage, MINT also occurs as a countable noun as a way of referring to these countries as individual members of the group, i.e. the MINTs.

by Kerry Maxwell, author of Brave New Words

Last week …

Read last week's BuzzWord article. Chronotherapy.

This article was first published on 12th November 2014.


Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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