- Guinea – Ebola put this African country on the map. I use the word map loosely, as most Americans assumed that all Africans had Ebola and started discriminating against all Africans.
- Ukraine – Putin’s antics made Ukraine the new keyword for geopolitical tension.
- Estonia – This little Baltic country launched the revolutionary e-Identity concept, where foreigners can get digital citizenship in the country without living there.
- Malta – This little European country had less tech-savvy citizens than Estonia, so instead just tried to sell traditional passports to rich foreigners, to EU’s chagrin.
- Romania – This Eastern European country also had tech-savvy citizens, but used its powers for evil instead, and became the cybercrime capital of the world.
- Luxembourg – This little sleepy European country was shaken by the world’s big countries suddenly cracking down on tax havens, a few decades too late.
- Qatar – Hey, let’s have the World Cup in the Gulf summer! It’s only 50 degrees celsius in the shade! And hey, while we’re at it, let’s get tens of thousands of illegal migrant laborers and work them to death to build the stadia! Thanks, Qatar.
- Colombia – This former murder capital of the world had a more positive turnaround and became one of the start-up capitals of the world.
- Tunisia – Suddenly, there was only one country left standing after the Arab Spring. Tunisia holds the torch as the only hope of the Middle East.
- Mongolia – For five seconds, this was the fastest growing economy in the world. Then, they succumbed to the usual resource curse.
Mongolia seems to be the next Burma.
Now getting its first Western fast food chain outlet, in the shape of, naturally, KFC:
Really keen to go before it develops too much. Was in Burma recently, and felt I could almost have been anywhere in South East Asia already.