Just as China, India and other emerging market countries are growing in economic importance, so more of their business champions are emerging as challengers to the established order in a range of global marketplaces.
Petrobras, China Mobile, Reliance Industries and Lukoil are among 61 emerging market corporates in the latest Fortune Global 500 ranking of the world's biggest companies by revenue. China alone has 20 - 4% of the total. Only the US, Japan, the UK, France and Germany (in that order) can lay claim to more of the world's business giants. Other recent studies, including Boston Consulting Group's The New Global Challengers (2006), have highlighted clusters of regional competence, including - in India - IT services, pharmaceuticals and automotive parts manufacturing.
The leaders among this new breed of multinational have become as profitable as their developed-market counterparts. Across many sectors, they have earnings approaching or even exceeding those of better-known Western names. Brazil's Aracruz, the world's biggest pulp producer, and Taiwan's Yue Yuen, which makes one in six pairs of the world's sports shoes, may still be relative unknowns, but along with the likes of Samsung and Brazilian aeroplane manufacturer Embraer, they are threatening to dominate global markets.