Sometime in 2014 China will import more goods and services than the USA, writes Pam Woodall, Senior Economics Writer for The Economist.

For the last few decades the countries previously thought of as poor cousins to the West have begun grabbing their share of the world’s manufacturing production, thanks in a large part to lower wages and less regulation.

In 2012 these markets will overtake the West in terms of importing goods and services. This rapid growth in developing countries’ buying power will boost the profits of companies in rich economies over the coming years, but only if they take the action to engage with these new economies.

“Rapid growth in incomes, and hence spending, has increased their appetite for foreign goods: imports into emerging markets have grown twice as fast as those into developed ones over the past decade. This partly reflects increasing trade between emerging economies themselves, such as the BRIC’s (Brazil, Russia, India and China), but their purchases from rich countries have also grown strongly. Almost three-fifths of American exports will head to emerging markets in 2012, nearly double the share in 1990.”

The rise of China

On top of all this China is set to overtake America as the world’s biggest importer by 2014. So the tables really will turn on our traditional capitalist outlook.

I don’t think that this is anything to be scared of. If companies can ensure that their export model is correct, then the rise of these nations will be a massive opportunity.