Fast growing Saudi Arabia second only to China on Agility EM Logistics Index

24 January 2015

A mixed performance from the BRICS economies is being offset by the dynamic growth of Saudi Arabia and next-tier countries such as Indonesia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Mexico.

The 2015 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index published by the logistics provider said while BRICS nations Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa had accounted for much previous growth this year new countries had made an impact in the rankings.

The Index is an annual data-driven ranking of 45 emerging economies accompanied by a separate survey of nearly 1,000 global logistics and supply chain executives. It ranks emerging markets based on size, business conditions, infrastructure and other factors that make them attractive for investment by logistics companies, air cargo carriers, shipping lines, freight forwarders and distribution companies.

Saudi Arabia has risen to second position in the 2015 index from ninth and was outscored only by China. Agility said this was “a reflection of the pace at which it is building a world-class infrastructure, implementing reforms and attempting to diversify beyond oil, which is still half of the economy.”

Russia’s growing economic isolation has hurt the country in the eyes of logistics and supply chain professionals. More than 75 per cent of respondents said they were pessimistic about Russia’s prospects, pushing it down three spots to seventh position in a ranking of countries expected to be major logistics markets over the next five years.

Nigeria, Bangladesh and Pakistan all climbed in the rankings while Mexico held steady.

Supply chain executives were impressed by Qatar’s openness to business and its massive investment in infrastructure as it prepares for the 2022 World Cup. The country moved up six places to sixteenth position.

Logistics professionals ranked natural disasters and corruption as the top supply chain risks in Asia Pacific. In Latin America corruption and government instability were perceived to be major risks while in the Middle East terrorism and government instability were seen as the most important risk factors.

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