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Buying a World Cup business: Group F


In this series we're taking a closer look, group by group, at the types of businesses that would be most likely to succeed in each of the competing nations of the 2014 World Cup.

Here we look at Group F. With not a single top-tier economy among the teams in the group, you would be forgiven for thinking that it is the least exciting in business terms. But you would be wrong...


One of Latin America's emerging markets, Argentina's economy remains a volatile one, that has historically alternated between boom and bust. It is its own instability that has hampered the country's otherwise promising story of growth and modernisation: Argentina's farming sector has developed its own export-driven tertiary sector, and its appeal as a destination for manufacturers and tourists alike has grown steadily over the past four decades.

But stepping back and examining this picture as a whole, there are some sound business opportunities to be discovered in Argentina. Though the soft commodities and exports markets may suffer from volatility, their growth has led to a need for expanded infrastructure, and the country's energy grid is in the process of a major overhaul.

With the security of government contracts, and the certainty of work, any business providing services to the construction and energy industry may find a long-time future in this Latin American economy.

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Bosnia and Herzegovina

One of Europe's poorest countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina has seen the slowest rate of progress and economic development of all the former Yugoslav nations. Bosnia and Herzegovina remains outside the EU and Eurozone; though it has applied for future candidate status, its poor economic infrastructure is one of the major obstacles in the way of its membership bid.

However, things are beginning to move in the right direction. Due to its geographic location, Bosnia and Herzegovina has the potential to establish itself as a major distribution hub for central and eastern Europe, for goods arriving from the Adriatic. Logistics, haulage and packaging firms are already watching this region with interest, and the government is supporting industry with investment in road-building programmes.

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Iran has a reputation in the West for being a defiant and isolationist regime controlled tightly by strict laws and central government. But domestically, Iran has one of the most developed economies in the middle east. Bolstered by oil exports to China and India, Iran remains one of the top twenty richest nations..

However, an entrepreneur looking at Iran for expansion will have a tough time succeeding in their ambitions. With tight internal regulations on trade, plus the likelihood of sanctions placed on trade by potential consumer nations, Iran is a no-go trade zone for all but the most confident of business leaders. But this in turn creates a certain demand: if you can find a way to safely and legally import fine Persian rugs and carpets for example, then their scarcity in the West alone will translate into a profitable enterprise!

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Africa's wealthiest nation is also the home to one of the continent's most unequal societies. Nigeria's abundant supply of oil and other natural resources is weighed down by widespread poverty, which currently affects over 40% of the population.

But Nigeria is also looked upon favourably by institutional investors: it is forecast to see a more rapid rate of growth between now and the year 2050 than any other nation on the planet.

Such growth cannot be facilitated by exports and outside investments alone: the domestic workforce will increasingly demand to see the fruits of their labour. Manufacturers operating under the Fair Trade agreements, and businesses which aim to enfranchise their own workforce, will all be welcomed in Nigeria. And both clothing and industrial machinery manufacturers have a wealth of natural resources close at hand.

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More groups:

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

Group E

Group F

Group G

​Group H

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