Egypt Topples Vietnam on Investment List; EMERGING MARKETS

Article excerpt

Egypt has been identified as the most attractive emerging market for Midlands manufacturers.

The finding is based on an assessment of potential risk and reward, according to the annual PricewaterhouseCoopers EM20 Index. The Middle Eastern country replaces Vietnam, which topped the Index last year and this year achieved fifth position.

Bulgaria and Serbia are ranked second and third, with Romania in seventh place. Those three countries make up a 'golden triangle', as they also feature in the top ten of the services index, which is headed by Poland.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers EM20 Index report notes that while there are still downsides to these markets in terms of infrastructure and governance issues, south east Europe deserves to be given serious attention as a region with considerable potential.

The EM20 Index is a model developed by PricewaterhouseCoopers economists, which seeks to assess the attractiveness of emerging markets around the world for overseas investment, based on an analysis of both risk and reward. The index is designed to support businesses in deciding where to invest.

This year's PricewaterhouseCoopers EM20 Index includes a number of refinements to the methodology used to rank the emerging markets.

In particular, the scope of the model has been expanded to include all countries considered as plausible candidates for foreign direct investment (FDI).

A number of extra filters have also been applied during the process of identifying the emerging markets so that the stylised investment model better reflects the real-world decisions which companies make when deciding where to invest.

This has resulted in some countries no longer meeting the models' criteria and falling out of the index, while others have entered it for the first time.

Sue Rissbrook, partner and emerging markets specialist at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Midlands, said: "The purpose of the index is to give businesses in the region a good initial view of their options when it comes to overseas investment, on a global scale.

"Most companies in the region will be familiar with the benefits that can be gained by setting up manufacturing facilities in places like India, China and Eastern Europe. However, relatively few are likely to have considered the potential gains that could be achieved by investing in smaller, developing economies in places like Egypt, Serbia and Vietnam - all of which offer excellent investment conditions, based on an analysis of risk and reward. …