Location Risk Monitoring

Supply Wisdom Index: Country Risk Rankings

Written by Sowmya MK

Our quarterly Supply Wisdom Index: Country Risk Rankings covers global outsourcing markets and ranks key locations based on the Composite Risk score, a comprehensive measure of important risk criteria.

Ten major outsourcing markets have been analysed in this index using the Supply WisdomSM framework, covering categories such as Geo-Political, Financial, Scalability, Legal, Business, Infrastructure, Macro-Economic, and Quality of Life.


Q1 2016 Highlights:

  1. The APAC region outperformed other locations on the index in Q1 2016. China ranks #1 with strong performance of its outsourcing industry and numerous investor-friendly tax reforms. However, the country enforced a series of controversial data protection and cyber security regulations on foreign firms, evoking mixed reactions.
  2. India holds the #2 spot on the index. Various initiatives by the Indian Government to improve ease of doing business in the country are expected to give it a competitive edge in the long run. However, the cost advantage offered by India could be impacted by the recently announced US and UK visa fee hikes.
  3. Ireland, one of the key European outsourcing markets, ranks #4 driven by its resilient economic growth, attractive corporate tax rates, several R&D incentives, and strong IT sector growth forecasts. The rising Financial Risk is due to the rental value acceleration of office spaces, a key component of operational costs.
  4. In the LATAM region, Brazil, with a turbulent economy and high currency volatility, ranks #8 on the index. During the quarter, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a level-two travel alert for Brazil for enhanced precaution owing to the Zika virus outbreak.

Click on any country for more information.


+ Moved up – Moved down

Rank Country Overall Risk Score
Q4 2015 Q1 2016
0 4.62 4.61
China’s outsourcing industry continues to perform well; a notable rise was observed in service outsourcing contracts in 2015. Establishment of several new enterprises, incubators, and innovation platforms signaled heightened activity in the technology sector. Tier II cities such as Chengdu are emerging as promising business hubs. However, intensifying restrictive policies on foreign firms is drawing flak from developed nations globally, affecting business sentiments.
Minor rise in Macro-Economic Risk was due to a slight decline in trade balance, coupled with high stock market volatility.
Geo-Political Risk increased slightly due to travel warnings issued for the Avian flu virus, even though there was a consecutive decline in social security and natural disaster risks.
Quality of Life
Quality of Life Risk declined imperceptibly as the risk associated with extreme cold weather conditions was offset by lower hotel occupancy rates.
0 4.79 4.74
With a well-established IT-BPO industry, high provider and process maturity, large talent pool, and strong government support, outsourcing to India continues to be beneficial for clients. However, rising labor costs, high threat of terrorism and social unrest, increasing vulnerability to cyber crimes, lack of adequately skilled graduates, and a big improvement required in its business atmosphere is leading to buyers considering alternative locations.
Financial Risk increased due to a rise in average rental values for office spaces.
Geo-Political Risk dropped owing to absence of major travel warnings and natural calamities, with the exception of heatwaves. India also improved in its ranking on Corruption Perceptions Index 2015.
Infrastructure Risk declined marginally due to improvements in commercial infrastructure availability, with many new technology parks in the pipeline.
+1 5.05 5.06
The Philippine IT-BPM industry continues to flourish, targeting to become the top outsourcer in the Asia-Pacific. Apart from Manila and Cebu, cities such as Clark and Davao have been identified as promising outsourcing locations, offering lower operational costs and better incentives. However, risks such as high cybercrime levels and weak data privacy enforcement, besides continuing natural disaster and security risks like kidnapping and terrorism persist.
Macro-Economic Risk increased significantly due to high volatility in currency exchange rates and widening trade deficit.
Financial Risk decreased with the slowing down of rental growth for the country’s office spaces.
Geo-Political Risk declined due to fewer instances of typhoons and floods during the quarter, resulting in reduced natural disaster risk.
-1 5.00 5.07
Being the only English-speaking country in the Eurozone, Ireland’s outsourcing industry has strong credentials in the BPO and Customer Experience domains. With an already existing strong client portfolio, financial services are another area where the country seeks future investments. Along with strong support from the Irish Government, other factors that draw companies to places like Dublin, Cork, and Galway include low corporate tax, increasing number of ICT students, and availability of competent senior managers.
Macro-Economic Risk witnessed an imperceptible increase due to a drop in stock market performance compared to the previous quarter. Overall, the risk continues to remain low.
Financial Risk shot up significantly mainly led by an increase in operational costs, in terms of considerably higher office rental growth observed during the quarter.
Geo-Political Risk went up slightly due to similar increase in the social/security risk for Ireland. During the quarter, fears of possible centenary terror attacks by Irish republican terrorists increased.
0 5.08 5.08

Hungary features among leading outsourcing hubs in Central and Eastern Europe. Its software and IT services market is dominated by application software and system infrastructure sub-segments, followed by other areas such as project services, ERP, and SAP. They cater mainly to the public sector, manufacturing, and banking verticals. Multinational firms dominate the technology industry, with a smaller share of Hungarian firms offering niche technologies.

Notable decline in Macro-Economic Risk was due to improved trade and fiscal balances as well as an interest rate cut.
Geo-Political Risk increased negligibly due to few incidents of heavy rain and flood warnings issued to a number of counties including Budapest.
Quality of Life
Minor decrease in Quality of Life Risk was due to a shorter winter, leading to a marginal improvement in weather conditions.
0 5.13 5.15
The technology sector in Vietnam is supported by a positive industry growth rate and niche technologies such as cloud, big data, and analytics. While talent shortage persists, government measures like easing of foreign talent hiring and improving English language skills addresses these needs. Moreover, numerous free trade agreements, simplified taxation procedures, tax cuts, and incentives have contributed to a positive investor sentiment in the country.
Increase in Geo-Political Risk was driven by ongoing drought conditions as well as a series of protests that occurred during the quarter.
Infrastructure Risk increased due to slight decline in power availability as well as reduced supply of new office spaces in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Quality of Life
Quality of Life Risk increased during the quarter primarily due to increase in hotel occupancy rates.
+1 5.35 5.28

Mexico is one of the largest outsourcing markets in Latin America and attracts almost a quarter of the software projects in the region. The sector, however, has its fair share of challenges in terms of limited technical and managerial talent, and average English proficiency. Despite the launch of several programs such as Mexico First and PROSOFT to improve the industry’s competitiveness, high corruption levels and bureaucracy impact ease of doing business.

Macro-Economic Risk increased significantly during the quarter with increase in currency fluctuations.
Geo-Political Risk declined owing to fewer demonstrations and strikes as well as absence of major natural disasters. Additionally, Mexico improved its rank on the Corruption Perceptions Index 2015.
Infrastructure Risk decreased from high to moderate levels during the quarter, driven by improvements in Mexico’s power supply scenario.
-1 5.23 5.33

Brazil’s Macro-Economic and Geo-Political climates continue to be highly volatile. While the economy shows no signs of recovery, massive corruption levels and political scandals leading to the impeachment procedures against President Dilma Rousseff as well as the ongoing outbreak of Zika virus only worsen the outlook. Nevertheless, the outsourcing sector appears to be quite resilient and continues to receive heavy investments.

Macro-Economic Risk increased owing to high currency and stock market fluctuations, amid a continually weakening economy.
Geo-Political Risk increased due to the issuing of travel warnings by CDC and other countries on account of the massive Zika virus outbreak in the country.
Quality of Life
Quality of Life Risk decreased due to increased availability of residential real estate in the country.
+1 5.38 5.39

Colombia’s internal struggles with left-wing groups continue, the most prominent ones being the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and National Liberation Army (ELN). Recent outbreaks of the Zika virus and the ongoing energy crisis have also added to the government’s woes. While these individual factors have not daunted the Colombian outsourcing industry from growing, their combined effect could be a deterrent in future, if left unresolved.

Macro-Economic Risk registered a substantial decline, primarily driven by the regained stability in currency exchange rates, and improved fiscal balance and stock market performance.
Infrastructure Risk increased significantly during the quarter due to the higher risk associated with declining power generation.
Quality of Life
Quality of Life Risk subsided owing to improvements in the safety index, lower hotel occupancy rates, and better climatic conditions.
-1 5.38 5.47

Poland has emerged as one of the most important outsourcing markets in Central and Eastern Europe owing to its strategic access to West European markets, and robust commercial and telecom infrastructure. Within Poland, Tier I outsourcing markets include Krakow, Warsaw and Wroclaw. The country faces scalability issues due to its small industry size and a limited technically-skilled workforce.

Macro-Economic Risk declined due to improved fiscal balance, better stock market performance, and higher foreign exchange reserves compared to the previous quarter.
Geo-Political Risk registered an increase during the quarter due to higher risk associated with political stability as well as increased social/security risk.
Infrastructure Risk increased during the quarter owing to rise in unscheduled power outages in the country.


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