Country Profiles

Jeannie Bail


When analyzing a foreign company, or looking into expanding into a new international market, it is important to have an understanding of the external factors that are at play, as previously discussed with the PESTLE framework example. Country profiles are excellent first resources to consult, as they contain essential political, economic, regulatory and socio-demographic data on countries in summarized format. Profiles can be found from a wide range of respected resources, both free and subscription-based. Some profiles include a country risk rating, which indicates the level of risk involved with investing in that location. The higher the risk score, the more risky the investment environment.

Subscription-Based Country Profile Sources

ABI Inform Complete: Contains country profiles from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Fitch Solutions and Oxford Economics.

How to find: In Advanced Search, enter the country name in the main search box, select Country Report under Document Type. Sort results by Most Recent First.


Screenshot of a country report search in Advanced Search for ABI/Inform, with Nigeria as an example.


Screenshot of search criteria, with "country report" checked.

Business Source Ultimate: Contains country profiles from a wide range of publishers, including Fitch Solutions, MarketLine (including PESTLE Insights), IHS Markit, CountryWatch, OECD and PRS Group (Political Risk Yearbook).

How to find: Enter your selected country in the main search box and limit your results to Country Report under Publication Type.


Screenshot of a country report search in Advanced Search for Business Source Ultimate, with Spain as an example.


Screenshot of the Search Results limited to Publication Type, with Country Report selected.

First Research Industry Profiles (Mergent Intellect): Features State Profiles for the U.S., in addition to Country Information that contains risk trends from Dun & Bradstreet.

How to find: From the Mergent Intellect home page, select First Research. You will be brought to the First Research site and prompted to enter your email address. Select either International Global Content (Country Information) or North America Regional Info (State & Province Profiles).


Mergent Intellect Database: International Global Content (NYPL)

Mergent Online: In addition to company data, Mergent provides Country Profiles that contain overviews of key areas such as the economy, industry, security trade, geography & history, people, media and transportation.

How to find: There is a grey box titled Country Profile located on the right-hand side of the home page. Select a country from the drop-down list.


OECD iLibrary: This is the online library of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and contains OECD Economic Surveys by country. Many surveys are also available in French.

How to find: Go to Browse by Country and select country


Screenshot of "Browse by Country" in OECD iLibrary, with People's Republic of China selected.

Passport GMID (Euromonitor): Not only is Passport your go-to resource for international market research, it also contains socio-economic country data that spans 206 countries. In addition to country reports, it contains Political, Economic, Social and Technological (PEST) analysis reports.

How to find: Economies > Business Dynamics > Explore Analysis > Country Report > Business Dynamics > Select country

Reports appear in HTML, but can be printed or downloaded as a PDF.


Screenshot of how to locate a country report in Passport, with Mexico selected.


For PEST Analysis reports, search for “PEST” and your country using the ALL search box.


Screenshot of how to locate a PEST report for a country in Passport.


Statista: Country dossier reports are compiled by Statista analysts and contain a large range of aggregated sources such as Statista surveys, the World Bank, IMF and the United Nations.

How to find: Reports > Country Reports (Select by country or region)
These reports are available as PDF or PowerPoint files


Screenshot of how to locate "Country & Region Reports" in Statista.

Free Country Profile Sources


  • Export Development Canada (EDC): Covers the business environment and key industries for countries with the goal of growing business outside of Canada. Also, provides an indicator (EDC Position) of how open the market is for business, based on a number of factors.
  • Government of Canada > Country Information: The Government of Canada maintains travel advice and advisories and “Doing Business In” guides for countries and territories worldwide, including trade, market and consular contact information.

United States

  • CIA – The World Factbook > Countries: A one-stop reference site containing country information and maps from a wide variety of US Government agencies. Particular attention is paid to transnational issues and military & security.
  • Country Commercial Guides, U.S. International Trade Administration/Dept. of Commerce: Prepared by trade and industry experts at U.S. embassies worldwide, these guides cover a range of topics relating to international trade, including: strategies for entering the market, challenges and barriers re: trade, leading sectors for exports and investment, trade regulation, bank financing and travel information & country customs.
  • GlobalEDGE > Global Insights > By Country: Created by the International Business Center and the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University (IBC), globalEDGE is your source for global business knowledge. Insights by Country contain country comparator and ranking tools, along with country overviews and risk assessment ratings.


  • BBC News, Country Profiles: Select by country or territory. These overviews contain a timeline of key dates in history, plus key country facts and media profiles.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) > Country Profiles: Country information focusing on agricultural indicators such as food access and insecurity, land use, production, distribution and consumption. Also, produces Digital Agriculture country profiles that address the ag-tech market.
  • HSBC > International Business Guides: Produced by the multinational Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, these guides have business etiquette tips and work practices & values for countries worldwide. They feature a society & culture section with useful phrases, food information and major customs and celebrations. Other areas covered include: the economy, sustainability, taxes & wages and infrastructure.
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF) > Countries: Focus coverage is available for IMF member countries and contain data on key economic indicators (historical and projections). The country reports, found under “At a Glance” are in-depth and cover recent events and issues, along with their economic impact.
  • World Bank Group > Understanding Poverty> Data & Research > By Country: Uses data from the World Development Indicators database to produce Country Profiles, Overviews and evaluation of how a country is doing in relation to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


In addition to digital access, some useful resources are available in print format, including:

Self Check


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Business Information Skills Certificate (BISC): Research Guide Copyright © 2023 by Jeannie Bail is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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