Control Risks lists the countries facing political and economic transformation in 2011

Control Risks has launched Risk Map 2011 – its annual review and forecast of business risk for the year ahead, including regional outlooks, and a rating of political and security risk in 173 countries.

Control Risks has also identified Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan and Turkey as five key states for investors to watch in 2011.

The first four countries may experience political upheaval, which will impact the investment environment, and Turkey offers strong potential investment returns as it continues to consolidate its strategic position in the Near East, it said.

2011 will be marked as a year of "increasing national self interest", both politically and economically, as the world’s emerging economies use their economic strength and resilience to project global power and influence.

In response, the established powers will respond to these new uncertainties by focusing on pragmatic engagement to achieve their geopolitical goals, Control Risks said.

Anti-corruption efforts will become the key boardroom agenda point as regulators become ever more vigorous in their pursuit of wrongdoing, armed with stronger legislation in the form of the new UK Bribery Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.

Richard Fenning, chief executive of Control Risks, comments: “2011 will be a dynamic year on the global stage, with significant implications for international business strategy.

“Businesses will need to understand and anticipate the impacts of geopolitical competition and cooperation. Faced with new legislation requirements, they will have to actively demonstrate real compliance through the tangled web of joint ventures, agency agreements and distributors that form the cornerstone of transnational businesses.”

Click on the map or download it, right (pdf).