The Euromoney Belt & Road Index (EBRI) combines International Monetary Fund (IMF) GDP figures with investment climate (IC) scores sourced from economists and political experts who ranked countries on the Euromoney Country Risk platform.
The index, therefore, combines qualitative, crowd-sourced opinion with quantitative data. Using these sources EBRI aims to provide a clear and credible index representing the politico-economic environment and investment climate.
The latest Belt & Road Index results show Russia as the only country moving up a category, to tier-4 in Q2 2019, leaping ahead of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkey among the countries in tier-5.
Russia’s rise reflects an improving political and economic climate captured in ameliorating investor risk factors, and recovery from the oil crisis propelling GDP higher.
In total, 68 countries are categorised according to improvements in their investor climates and/or GDP since China’s Belt & Road Initiative was inaugurated in 2013, with only Syria presently excluded due to a lack of data.
Only three countries, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Laos, are in tier-1 showing the most improvement of all.
Countries in tier-1 to tier-3, with index values larger than 100, are those that have seen rising GDP and/or better investor climates since the EBRI’s inception. The number of tier-1 to tier-3 countries is increasing year on year.
There are 52 in Q2 2019, rising from 49 in the same quarter of last year. Bangladesh is the star performer. It has continued to rise due to persistently strong real-terms economic growth exceeding 7% per annum, contributing to the Asia region improving the most since 2013 followed by the Middle East.
Other countries rising since the first quarter include the Philippines, Vietnam, Hungary, and Cambodia, all tier-2 countries, as well as Poland (tier-3), and Belarus (tier-4), among others. Bhutan, with sharply slowing GDP growth, is one of the countries deteriorating in the EBRI, and the only one moving down a category, from tier-3 to tier-4.