Purpose The present study aims to provide a practical and robust assessment technique for assessing countries' investability in global supply chains to practitioners. Thus, the proposed approach can help decision-makers evaluate and select appropriate countries in the expansion process of the global supply chains and reduce risks concerning country (market) selection. Design/methodology/approach The present study proposes a novel decision-making approach, namely the REF-Sort technique. The proposed approach has many valuable contributions to the literature. First, it has an efficient basic algorithm and can be applied to solve highly complicated decision-making problems without requiring advanced mathematical knowledge. Besides, some characteristics differentiate REF-Sort apart from other techniques. REF-Sort employs the value or value range that reflects the most typical characteristic of the relevant class in assignment processes. The reference values in REF-Sort and center profiles are similar in this regard. On the other hand, class references can be defined as ranges in REF-Sort. Secondary values, called successors, can also be employed to assign a value to the appropriate class. REF-Sort can also determine the reference and successor values/ranges independently of the decision matrix. In addition, the proposed model is a maximally stable and consistent decision-making tool, as it is resistant to the rank reversal problem. Findings The current papers' findings indicate that countries have different features concerning investment. Hence, the current paper pointed out that only 22% of the 95 countries are investable, whereas 19% are risky. Thus, decision-makers should make detailed evaluations using robust, powerful, and practical decision-making tools to make more reasonable and logical decisions concerning country selection. Originality/value The current paper proposes a novel decision-making approach to evaluate. According to the authors' information, the proposed model has been applied to evaluate investable countries for the global supply chains for the first time.