What is a 'Newly Industrialized Country - NIC'

Newly industrialized country (NIC) is a term used by political scientists and economists to describe a country whose level of economic development ranks it somewhere between the developing and first-world classifications. These countries have moved away from an agriculture-based economy and into a more industrialized, urban economy. They are also known as "newly industrializing economies" or "advanced developing countries."

BREAKING DOWN 'Newly Industrialized Country - NIC'

In the 1970s and 1980s, examples of newly industrialized countries included Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. Examples in the late 2000s included South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Turkey. Economists and political scientists sometimes disagree over the classification of these countries.

An NIC is part of a particular socioeconomic class that has recently made strides in the area of industry. Generally, this economic shift is accompanied by an increased sense of stability within the nation, though the process of stabilization may be seen as incomplete or in a stage of infancy.

Signs of the Transition From Third World to Newly Industrialized Country

A primary sign of an NIC is that the growth of its gross domestic product (GDP) is substantial, even if it falls behind First World nations. Often, increases in average income and standard of living are markers of the transition from Third World country to an NIC. Government structures are often more stable, with lower levels of corruption and less violent transitions of power between officials. Though the changes are significant, outpacing those made by similar developing nations, they are often still well behind the standards set within most First World nations.

Relations Between Newly Industrialized Nations and First World Countries

First World countries may see opportunity in the growing stability of an NIC. This could lead to additional outsourcing on the part of the First World countries to facilities within NICs. This gives the outsourcing companies lower labor costs, with smaller levels of risk than when outsourcing to less stable nations. While this can increase the strength of the labor force within the NIC, complications can occur with the increased demand, due to less developed laws and regulations surrounding industry.

Examples of Newly Industrialized Countries

Since there is no exact qualification to be counted as a NIC, the subject may be open to some debate. Based on economies shifting some agricultural development toward more industrial pursuits, and recent improvements in the average standard of living, certain economies are generally included. India and China (specifically Hong Kong) are often included, along with Singapore, Taiwan and Turkey. Others may include Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Thailand.

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