BAAR, Switzerland: January 18, 2016. Supply chain executives surveyed in Agility Logistics’ latest emerging market index for the first time think India not China has the most growth potential. They also see oil prices and China’s economy as the leading risks to the global economy this year
In the overall rankings, which are based on economic and social data, India climbed two places to No. 3, behind China and the UAE on strong economic performance and initial reforms launched by the government of prime minister Narendra Modi.
According to Agility’s survey of 1,100 industry executives, 61 percent are unclear on the direction of the global economy, or they expect more volatility in 2016. Almost the same number (59.4 percent) say the International Monetary Fund’s forecast of 4.7 percent growth in emerging markets is “about right”, after growing between 3.6-4.2 percent in 2015, down from 4.5 percent in 2014.
“It was a volatile year for emerging markets, and you see that in the index. Eight of the top 10 emerging markets shifted places,” said Essa Al-Saleh, president and CEO of Agility Global Integrated Logistics. “Despite the turbulence, the fundamentals driving growth remain consistent – a rising middle class with spending power, progress in poverty reduction, growing populations. That’s why we are still positive on the outlook for emerging markets and see them driving global growth.”
Among the countries at the top of the new Agility index the UAE, India and Malaysia (4th place) lead the commodity-dependent economies of Saudi Arabia (5), Brazil (6) and Indonesia (7), followed by Mexico (8), Russia (9) and Turkey in 10th place.
From a logistics perspective Agility says countries in Latin America are losing ground as a result of recession and political turmoil in Brazil, and depressed prices for commodity exports. Of the 10 countries that slipped furthest in the index for 2016, six are in Latin America: Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela.
On the other hand, Iran has moved up 12 places to No.15 among emerging countries with major logistics potential.
Executives see “economic shock” as the top risk in Asia Pacific with 38 percent saying they are reassessing their China strategies. Previous Agility surveys had natural disasters and corruption as the top risks in Asia.
For the first time, consumer spending is viewed as more important than energy and minerals for driving growth in Africa with Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Kenya as the continent’s most promising markets. However, despite recent growth and investment, executives still view Sub-Saharan Africa as a “frontier market” and only 21.2 percent say they have operations there, according to Agility and its research organization Transport Intelligence.