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.
The acronym MINT was popularized by Jim O' Neill, a British economist best known for coining its predecessor, the term BRIC.