India Takes Over From China As Top-Ranked Developing Market For Retail Investment

India has surpassed China this year for the leading spot on A.T. Kearney’s 2017 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI), ranked as the most attractive for retail investment among the top 30 developing countries. To arrive at the rankings, A.T. Kearney equally weighted four factors on a 100-point scale: market attractiveness; country risk; market saturation; and time pressure (how fast retail is growing).

India’s scores were strong but unremarkable across all factors, except in time pressure, where it rated fairly high (88.5 out of 100), placing it in the lead. China excelled in market attractiveness, with a max score of 100, and time pressure (92.5), but its low market saturation score of 24.4 (lower score indicates greater saturation), set it slightly behind India.

Malaysia (GRDI of 60.9, versus 70.4 for China and 71.7 for India) registered relatively strong numbers in market attractiveness (77.1) and country risk (87.1), helping push it to #3 in the ranks, while Turkey (GRDI of 59.8), with solid grades overall, came in 4th. United Arab Emirates (GRDI of 59.4) scored a perfect 100 points on country risk and 92.3 on market attractiveness, but a highly saturated market (0.9 out of 100), put it in 5th place.

The countries with perfect scores (100) in each category included: China for market attractiveness, United Arab Emirates for country risk, Tanzania for market saturation and Vietnam for time pressure.

Asia Pacific: A Hotbed of Commerce

Half of the countries in the top 10 are in the Asia-Pacific region, including India, China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. China and India in particular have retail sales over the last year which greatly exceed that of other developing nations. With strong populations of approximately 1.3 billion each, total retail sales in the trillions, relatively low economic and political risk, combined with high market potential, these two nations are poised for enormous growth.

About the Data: A.T. Kearney describes its methodology in part as follows:

“The annual A.T. Kearney Global Retail Development Index ranks 30 developing countries on a scale of zero to 100–the higher the ranking, the more urgency to enter a country. Countries are selected from 200 nations based on three criteria: 1) Country risk: greater than 35 in the Euromoney’s country risk score, 2) Population size: Five million people or more, and 3) Wealth: GDP per capita of more than $3,000.”