Export country selection guide

This guide will answer the question: “Which countries should I focus on first when I make my export plan?”

190 countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe

When starting with your export plans, it seems that the whole world is at your feet to conquer. But where to start? You can’t even research all these countries first, so you have to make an initial selection.

This guide helps you with this selection process. It is made specifically for small and medium-sized enterprises. In section A, we first filter out those countries that are (mostly) not suitable for an SME to do business in. filtration leads to a selection of 60 countries that at first hand seem to be ‘safe’ for you.

In section B, we help you select based on themes, such as urbanization, aging, trade & logistics, and income differences. Depending on your product or service’s most relevant features, you can decide which countries you want to research further.

Data source

All data comes from the World Bank database and is as much as possible based on the year 2016. In case 2016 data is not available, we use 2015, as long as no significant changes are to be expected (in case of year-­‐to-­‐year inflation, the changes may be substantial, in case of the urbanization, changes will be limited).

There was insufficient data available from several countries, mostly smaller countries like Belize, Monaco, Malta, or Tunesia, confined economies like Cuba and North Korea, and governments at war like Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. Hong Kong and Macau mentioned Taiwan is not in the statistics since China doesn’t see it as a country.

An explanation on GDP and PPP

n our comparison, we have used the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country. GDP is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific period. Income from overseas investments, for example, is not taken into account.

The GDP PPP is the Gross Domestic Product converted to dollars using Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) rates. Goods and services may be cheaper or more expensive in different countries. With a GDP per person of, for example, 40.000 dollars in the US, you can buy more than with the same GDP per person in Australia. The GDP PPP corrects this, so in Australia, the GDP PPP will be only 30.000 dollars.

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