Country Analysis Report Task Guidelines
Task: Assume that you are an international business consultant to Harvest Box, an Australian firm
which produces healthy snacks. You will analyse the market potential for their products in Malaysia
Your task is to write a report that analyses and compares the socio-economic, political and business
environments of Malaysia and Philippines. Your report will conclude with a country recommendation,
and justification for your selection based on a weighted index.
Submission: Submit your report via Turnitin before 11.59pm Sunday 7 th May (Week 9) 2017.
Length: 1500 words +/- 10% from Introduction to Conclusion (Title Page, List of References and
words in Tables and graphs are not included).
Note: Please DO NOT contact the firm Harvest Box.
Country Analysis Research
Getting started: Begin by having a look through the company and its products (see
Research quality academic and industry resources for broad country indicators, as well as specific
variables particularly important for Harvest Box. Some suggestions to start with include broad
macroeconomic variables such as the size and features of the economy; Foreign Direct Investment
inflows; tariff and non-tariff trade barriers; Human Development Index; Index of Economic Freedom;
levels of political risk, Ease of Doing Business, and information about the snack food sector.
Available via the QUT Library:
EIU Country Data: An analytical database of worldwide economic indicators and forecasts. The
service allows you to compare 117 countries across 271 economic series.
Passport GMID: Global Market Information Database provides business oriented statistics, analysis
and forecasts for countries, companies, markets and consumers. As well as country profiles for both
countries, this database has relevant reports for both countries.
Marketline Advantage: A respected source of business information on countries, industries and
PRS Country Data: Assesses political risk for most countries.
AUSTRADE and DFAT (do not overuse)
World Bank: Has data and analysis of a wide range of socio-economic indicators as well as its Ease
of Doing Business rankings (http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings).
The Handbook of Country Risk: http://www.coface.com/Economic-Studies- and-Country- Risks.
Transparency International: (www.transparency.org) Transparency International is a global
organisation which aims to fight corruption, and rates countries on a Corruption Perceptions Index.
World Economic Forum Competitiveness Report (very long – check Malaysia p.250 and
Writing the Country Analysis Report.
Title page: In general this has a descriptive title, date, the name of the company and usually your
name and position within the company.
Table of contents: Place the major headings and sub-headings down the left side of the page. On
the right, put the page number where each can be found in the report.
Introduction: Includes the context, purpose and significance of the report. (eg. This report analyses
the economic, political and business environments of Malaysia and Philippines and their market
potential for healthy snack products.) Include a very brief company and product profile (50 words or
Report Body: Following the introduction, the remainder of the body section is presented in logical
sub-sections. Your final headings and sub-headings will depend on what your analysis has
uncovered. Aim to find quality information, and evaluate it in relation to the relevant business
objectives of Harvest Box. Make some visuals (tables and graphs). You could include the graph of %
Change in GDP you made as part of Assessment One.
Country Choice: Present here your choice of country. This section is particularly important and will
include your weighted index and the reasons you included the variables and their weightings; a
discussion of the major report findings; and the advantages (and disadvantages) of your choice of
country over the second country.
Conclusion: Provide a very brief synopsis of your country choice and perhaps a recommendation for
how to proceed (50 – 70 words).
Note: in some texts on report writing Conclusions is treated as a large section following presentation
and discussion of data; in your report, however, you will have already presented your conclusions in
your Country Choice section so the Conclusion section signals the end of the report.
List of references: List the sources cited in your report using APA referencing. See QUT cite/write
Suggested structure for BSD119 Country Analysis Report
Table of Contents
2.0 Economic Environment
3.0 Political Environment and Risk
4.0 Business Environment
4.2 Market Potential
5.0 Country Choice
5.1 Weighted Index
List of References
FAQs: Read these before you email.
Q. How many sources do I need?
A. Probably ten to twelve but be flexible – eight is too few and eighteen is too many.
Q. How many variables should I analyse?
A. Around ten should be enough but a few more won’t matter.
Q. 1500 words isn’t enough so can I add an appendix?
A. No. You need to be succinct, and use rankings and scores available from the suggested sources
will help to capture a lot of information. Tables and graphs help as well.
Q. Do I draw a conclusion about the countries in each section of the report?
A. In the economic and political sections you should draw an overall conclusion which links to Harvest
Box’s objectives, but components of the Business section will link more closely.
Q. What if one country is stronger for some factors and weaker for others?
A. That’s fine. You’re aiming for a balanced report.