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BAAR, Switzerland: January 22, 2018. Emerging markets have ignored growing populism in the U.S. and parts of Europe to "look brighter than they have in years" according to a survey of logistics industry executives by Agility Logistics.

Agility's latest survey of more than 500 supply chain industry professionals for its annual Emerging Markets Logistics Index suggest nearly two-thirds agree with an IMF forecast of 4.8 - 4.9 percent GDP growth in 2018.

This marks the fastest expansion since 2013 and a second consecutive year of higher growth for the sector since a gain of 7.4 percent in 2010.

The Index, now in its ninth year, ranks 50 emerging markets countries by size, infrastructure, transport connections and business climate - factors that are attractive to logistics providers, freight forwarders, shipping lines, air cargo carriers and distributors.

agility survey 2018Fifty-five percent of executives surveyed say small and medium-sized businesses – those with fewer than 250 employees – will benefit most from emerging markets growth.

"The logistics industry's optimism comes as a relief. A year ago, there was great concern that populism in the United States and Europe were (sic) going to hurt trade and damage emerging markets economies," commented Essa Al-Saleh, CEO of Agility Global Integrated Logistics. "In 2018, we are looking at renewed growth overall, although it is likely to be very uneven from region to region and country to country."

Survey highlights include:

"It's refreshing that the [logistics] industry sees small and medium-sized businesses as the ones getting the most out of emerging markets growth," Al-Saleh added. "In large part, that's because SMEs are finally getting access to new technology and tools to improve their competitiveness and find new markets – a belated but very welcome development."