When looking into areas that you would identify as future export markets there is a lot of desk research you can do before setting off to a country to make the connections and build the relationships that will result in a successful business.
Peter Rodgers of the University of Sheffield, Andrew Hulse of UHY Wingfield Slater and Jon Stewart of Siemens VAI all mentioned the followed indices that you can use to help ascertain the validity and potential of exporting to a particular country.
Ease of doing business index is focussed on showing how easy it is at doing business within a country, look at Georgia as an example of a country that has made a conscious effort to reduce red tape and increase GDP.
The perception of corruption index gives an insight into potential dangers of operating within a particular market. However, having a high rating on this index may just mean that you look at different legal or financial routes when selling into a country. For instance Iraq could be a great market as they look to re-build but you may want to look at payment in advance.
The prosperity index looks at the prosperity of a nation on many different factors. This is especially useful if you are more B2C and are looking at markets with a population who have disposable income.
These 3 indices can be used together or in isolation to help you target your future export markets.