Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the competitiveness and convergence of the G7 and big emerging markets (BEM)
nations using various economic, demographic, trade, investment, and freedom and governance criteria.
Design/methodology/approach – The two groups of nations, G7 and BEM, are compared on the basis of various longitudinal and
cross-sectional variables. The longitudinal variables are GDP and real GDP growth, per capita GDP, international trade, foreign
direct investment, index of ageing, and life expectancy at birth. Cross-sectional competitive indices are Global competitiveness
index, index of economic freedom, Democracy index, Human development index, Gini index, Government effectiveness, and Corruption
Findings – The findings show that BEM is growing faster than G7 in most economic indicators including GDP, trade, and investment.
The growth results in some form of convergence. The freedom and governance infrastructure of the BEM is relatively weak to support
their economic growth. The primary challenge of the BEM is coming from the economic interdependence they create in a globalized
economy. Overall, the growth presents a new political reality that the world must recognize.
Research limitations/implications – National competitiveness is a long-term issue. A 30-year longitudinal analysis may not be
long enough to accurately reflect a nation's performance. Evidently, wealth creation in the emerging markets has profound influence
in non-economic areas. Political polarization and military confrontation are not unlikely.