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

The political risk landscape in parts of Africa and Asia is set to shift fundamentally over the next 12 months creating major political and economic changes, according to a new analysis.

The five countries most likely to experience “acute political upheaval” or be transformed from under-achievers into significant regional players in 2011 are Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan and Turkey, according to Control Risks. Investors should monitor closely the political risk landscape in each country, it added.

A new government that was formed in November 2010 could, for instance, be the start of Iraq’s long road to political and economic recovery. The urgent task, according to Control Risks, is for Iraq to integrate Sunnis into the state apparatus and define relations with the Kurds as well as overhauling the country’s oil laws.

Elections in Nigeria in April 2010 will be hugely important for its future, continued Control Risks. President Goodluck Jonathan is the most likely winner and pressing matters for him include overhauling the country’s oil industry laws and reconciling grievances with the Niger Delta insurgents. Control Risks also warned that parts of the country will experience violence during the election campaign.

Plagued by natural disasters, insurgency, terrorism, poverty, corruption and religious extremism, Pakistan is a nation on the brink. But with international troops looking to start pulling out of Afghanistan in 2011 investors will want to watch the political and security risk outlook even more closely, claims Control Risks.

A referendum in January 2011 will likely lead to southern Sudan seceding but many uncertainties remain, continued Control Risks. “A return to conflict is highly possible. If so, the impact could be felt well beyond Sudan’s borders,” it warned.

Finally, Turkey will consolidate its role as the rising power of the Near East in 2011, predicted Control Risks. It will also become an increasingly important interlocutor between the West and volatile regional neighbours such as Syria and Iran.