Political and Economic Brief

Political and Economic Brief

In this assignment you apply what you have learned from the material in Modules 1 and 2, and the textbook chapters assigned.  A practical and worthwhile assessment of the political and economic environment will be based on up-to-date and reliable news sources.  All too often it is thought that the material on a web site such as the CIA’s World FactBook is enough to understand the business environment in a country.  This is far from the truth. These sources typically deal in generalities and shy away from the very specific points you are asked below to comment on.  Look again at “How to Conduct Country Research” under “Study Suggestions for IBus 380” for guidance on sources.

Note that at this stage you do not assume you are working for a particular company or have a particular good or service to market.  That will come in your Country Presentation at the end of the session.  This is a general assessment of investment prospects based on your analysis of the political and economic situation in your country.

Divide your submission into two parts and a conclusion, plus your references, dealing with the following points.

Political assessment (Page-and-a-half to two pages, single spaced).  The following are points you should consider.  

  • Who holds the key position of power in the government?  What party does (s)he represent and what are its key policy objectives?
  • What are the key issues that the government faces? How successful is it in dealing with them?
  • What can you say about how free elections are, the level of corruption (cite an indicator), how Freedom House rates your country and why?

Economic assessment (Page-and-a-half to two pages, single spaced, including the table.)

  • Based on what you have read in the textbook and in Module 2 under “Assessing the Economic Environment”, identify at least 6 key, up-to-date quantitative indicators of your country’s economic performance and potential and put them in a table.
  • Add to the table one of the following indicators: either the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” assessment, or the Heritage Foundation’s “Index of Economic Freedom”, or the World Economic Forum’s “Global Competitiveness Index”.
  • Describe and explain what the indicators you have found tell you about the health of the country’s economy and its prospects for growth.

Conclusion regarding business potential  (Quarter to half a page, single spaced).  Base what you say here on what you have already presented in the two sections above. Do not add new data or information at this point.

  • Taking account of both your political and your economic analysis, how promising would you say the business potential of your country is, and why?  Mention any particular sectors of the economy that look especially attractive.

Length: 3 to 4 pages, single spaced, excluding references but including your table(s) and any charts. (Stick to these space limits.  An ability to be succinct as well as clear and complete is a skill well worth cultivating.)

References:  Make use of at least 10 different sources, cited according the guidelines below. Divide your references into two groups: a set for the political section and a set for your economic analysis.  In addition to online or library sources, you may consult personal contacts knowledgeable about the country, but in your list of references say who they are and how you know them.  You are responsible for ensuring that all your sources, including your personal contacts, are accurate.  

Grading criteria for the Political and Economic Brief (150 points)

Good, accurate and up-to-date coverage of the points required by the guidelines above.  Creativity, good writing – including spelling and grammar – and good organization.  

Political assessment                          70 points

Economic assessment                      70 points

Conclusion.                                        10 points


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