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 Gain   Decline   Not ranked last year   No change
Rank Country Change from 2017 Score
2018/2017
(Scale of 3)
Remarks

1 United StatesUnited States 2.09/2.03 The United States takes the top spot for the sixth year in a row. This continued confidence is likely a result of its large market, strong and sustained economic growth, and recent corporate tax cuts.

2 CanadaCanada ▲3 1.82/1.78 Canada moves up three spots to its highest ranking in the history of the Index. An update to the Investment Canada Act, a newly established Invest Canada agency, and new trade agreements could be boosting investor optimism.

3 GermanyGermany ▼1 1.81/1.86 Germany tops the list of European countries in the Index for the third consecutive year. The country is tightening policies on foreign takeovers in strategic sectors, but its increasing GDP growth rate remains appealing.

4 United KingdomUnited Kingdom 1.77/1.80 The United Kingdom holds steady in fourth place for two consecutive years. The country accounts for nearly a quarter of all greenfield investment in Europe, but uncertainty surrounding Brexit clouds its economic outlook.

5 ChinaChina ▼2 1.76/1.83 China remains in the top five, but falls to its lowest-ever ranking in the history of the Index. Investors remain bullish on the Chinese economy, so the drop may reflect lower scores for emerging markets overall.

6 JapanJapan 1.72/1.72 Japan retains the sixth spot in the Index. Its steady performance is likely a result of stronger economic growth and steps taken to integrate more fully in the global economy, including several recent free trade agreements.

7 FranceFrance 1.70/1.71 France ranks seventh for the second consecutive year. Investors are likely attracted to the Macron government’s pursuit of pro-market reforms aimed at stimulating the economy and boosting foreign investments.

8 AustraliaAustralia ▲1 1.66/1.67 Australia continues its streak of placing in the top 10 for the eighth year in a row. The country enjoys a record 27-year streak without a recession, and the government aims to cut the corporate tax rate to 25 percent by 2025.

9 SwitzerlandSwitzerland ▲3 1.58/1.58 Switzerland lands in the top 10 this year by jumping three spots. Part of the attraction may be driven by the government’s pioneering openness to the global cryptocurrency craze, cementing its highly entrepreneurial status.

10 ItalyItaly ▲3 1.57/1.56 Surging three spots this year, Italy rounds out the top 10. The government’s “Industria 4.0” initiative could be spurring innovation and increased investment, despite the relatively weak economic growth forecast.

11 IndiaIndia ▼3 1.56/1.68 India remains the second highest ranked emerging market on the Index. A variety of recent reforms have made its regulatory environment more business friendly, and economic growth is forecast to rebound this year.

12 SingaporeSingapore ▼2 1.53/1.61 This year marks the first time since 2015 that Singapore is not ranked in the top 10, reflecting lower investor interest in Southeast Asia more broadly. The country is a signatory to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which should help boost Singapore’s place as a tech hub.

13 NetherlandsNetherlands ▲1 1.51/1.55 The Netherlands moves up one spot, likely thanks to its impressive infrastructure, tax incentives, and logistics capabilities. The government is seeking to clean up its “tax haven” image but aims to offset this with a lower corporate tax rate.

14 SwedenSweden ▲1 1.48/1.53 Sweden rises one spot, likely due to its strong economic performance in 2017 and robust manufacturing productivity. The country is especially strong in the IT sector, attracting the most technology investments per capita in Europe.

15 SpainSpain ▼4 1.48/1.60 Following a two-year positive streak, Spain falls four spots. The Spanish economy is recovering, led by a revival in infrastructure and real estate investments, and investors based in Europe are particularly keen to invest there.

16 New ZealandNew Zealand ▲7 1.48/1.44 New Zealand is the largest gainer in the Index this year. This likely results from its strong performance on regulatory transparency and lack of corruption, the top factor that investors consider when choosing where to invest.

17 MexicoMexico 1.47/1.51 Mexico ranks 17th for the second consecutive year. The government has taken steps to improve the investment environment, such as lifting price controls on fuel and privatizing its hydrocarbon sector, which have already resulted in major deals.

18 South KoreaSouth Korea 1.46/1.50 South Korea’s consistent rank is buoyed by a strong economic outlook and globalizing policies. South Korea recently signed free trade agreements with five Central American countries, while the renegotiation of United States–Korea Free Trade Agreement resulted in limited changes.

19 IrelandIreland ▲1 1.46/1.46 Ireland’s score holds steady but its rank increases one spot. The country is well-known by investors for its many corporate advantages and may be in a position to attract considerable FDI as a result of Brexit.

20 DenmarkDenmark 1.45/NA Denmark returns to the Index after a one-year absence. The country is known for facilitating foreign enterprise, retaining top talent, and green energy. And the launch of its Digital Growth Strategy will fund a series of initiatives through 2025.

21 BelgiumBelgium ▲1 1.43/1.44 Belgium gains one spot, likely thanks in part to its strong economic growth and favorable consumption and labor market trends. And the Belgian Parliament recently approved a corporate tax cut from 33.99 percent to 25 percent by 2020.

22 PortugalPortugal 1.43/NA Making its first appearance in the Index, Portugal is enjoying its fastest-rate of economic growth since 2000. The country has launched a five-year strategic plan aimed at boosting investment projects in a variety of innovation-focused areas.

23 NorwayNorway 1.42/NA Norway returns to the Index after a one-year absence. The country’s economic outlook is positive, and the government is pursuing reforms to diversity the economy, including promoting the country as a top location for data storage and ecotourism.

24 AustriaAustria 1.42/1.43 Austria holds steady for the third year in a row. Its economic situation is improving, and the newly elected government has proposed to lower the corporate tax rate and instill budget discipline through a constitutional amendment.

25 BrazilBrazil ▼9 1.37/1.52 Brazil continues its streak of ranking in the top 25 throughout the entire history of the Index. Despite lingering economic and political uncertainty, the country’s sheer size makes it an enduring destination for FDI.
 
 Gain   Decline   Not ranked last year   No change
Rank Country Change from 2017 Score
2018/2017
(Scale of 3)

1 United StatesUnited States 2.09/2.03
The United States takes the top spot for the sixth year in a row. This continued confidence is likely a result of its large market, strong and sustained economic growth, and recent corporate tax cuts.

2 CanadaCanada ▲3 1.82/1.78
Canada moves up three spots to its highest ranking in the history of the Index. An update to the Investment Canada Act, a newly established Invest Canada agency, and new trade agreements could be boosting investor optimism.

3 GermanyGermany ▼1 1.81/1.86
Germany tops the list of European countries in the Index for the third consecutive year. The country is tightening policies on foreign takeovers in strategic sectors, but its increasing GDP growth rate remains appealing.

4 United KingdomUnited Kingdom 1.77/1.80
The United Kingdom holds steady in fourth place for two consecutive years. The country accounts for nearly a quarter of all greenfield investment in Europe, but uncertainty surrounding Brexit clouds its economic outlook.

5 ChinaChina ▼2 1.76/1.83
China remains in the top five, but falls to its lowest-ever ranking in the history of the Index. Investors remain bullish on the Chinese economy, so the drop may reflect lower scores for emerging markets overall.

6 JapanJapan 1.72/1.72
Japan retains the sixth spot in the Index. Its steady performance is likely a result of stronger economic growth and steps taken to integrate more fully in the global economy, including several recent free trade agreements.

7 FranceFrance 1.70/1.71
France ranks seventh for the second consecutive year. Investors are likely attracted to the Macron government’s pursuit of pro-market reforms aimed at stimulating the economy and boosting foreign investments.

8 AustraliaAustralia ▲1 1.66/1.67
Australia continues its streak of placing in the top 10 for the eighth year in a row. The country enjoys a record 27-year streak without a recession, and the government aims to cut the corporate tax rate to 25 percent by 2025.

9 SwitzerlandSwitzerland ▲3 1.58/1.58
Switzerland lands in the top 10 this year by jumping three spots. Part of the attraction may be driven by the government’s pioneering openness to the global cryptocurrency craze, cementing its highly entrepreneurial status.

10 ItalyItaly ▲3 1.57/1.56
Surging three spots this year, Italy rounds out the top 10. The government’s “Industria 4.0” initiative could be spurring innovation and increased investment, despite the relatively weak economic growth forecast.

11 IndiaIndia ▼3 1.56/1.68
India remains the second highest ranked emerging market on the Index. A variety of recent reforms have made its regulatory environment more business friendly, and economic growth is forecast to rebound this year.

12 SingaporeSingapore ▼2 1.53/1.61
This year marks the first time since 2015 that Singapore is not ranked in the top 10, reflecting lower investor interest in Southeast Asia more broadly. The country is a signatory to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which should help boost Singapore’s place as a tech hub.

13 NetherlandsNetherlands ▲1 1.51/1.55
The Netherlands moves up one spot, likely thanks to its impressive infrastructure, tax incentives, and logistics capabilities. The government is seeking to clean up its “tax haven” image but aims to offset this with a lower corporate tax rate.

14 SwedenSweden ▲1 1.48/1.53
Sweden rises one spot, likely due to its strong economic performance in 2017 and robust manufacturing productivity. The country is especially strong in the IT sector, attracting the most technology investments per capita in Europe.

15 SpainSpain ▼4 1.48/1.60
Following a two-year positive streak, Spain falls four spots. The Spanish economy is recovering, led by a revival in infrastructure and real estate investments, and investors based in Europe are particularly keen to invest there.

16 New ZealandNew Zealand ▲7 1.48/1.44
New Zealand is the largest gainer in the Index this year. This likely results from its strong performance on regulatory transparency and lack of corruption, the top factor that investors consider when choosing where to invest.

17 MexicoMexico 1.47/1.51
Mexico ranks 17th for the second consecutive year. The government has taken steps to improve the investment environment, such as lifting price controls on fuel and privatizing its hydrocarbon sector, which have already resulted in major deals.

18 South KoreaSouth Korea 1.46/1.50
South Korea’s consistent rank is buoyed by a strong economic outlook and globalizing policies. South Korea recently signed free trade agreements with five Central American countries, while the renegotiation of United States–Korea Free Trade Agreement resulted in limited changes.

19 IrelandIreland ▲1 1.46/1.46
Ireland’s score holds steady but its rank increases one spot. The country is well-known by investors for its many corporate advantages and may be in a position to attract considerable FDI as a result of Brexit.

20 DenmarkDenmark 1.45/NA
Denmark returns to the Index after a one-year absence. The country is known for facilitating foreign enterprise, retaining top talent, and green energy. And the launch of its Digital Growth Strategy will fund a series of initiatives through 2025.

21 BelgiumBelgium ▲1 1.43/1.44
Belgium gains one spot, likely thanks in part to its strong economic growth and favorable consumption and labor market trends. And the Belgian Parliament recently approved a corporate tax cut from 33.99 percent to 25 percent by 2020.

22 PortugalPortugal 1.43/NA
Making its first appearance in the Index, Portugal is enjoying its fastest-rate of economic growth since 2000. The country has launched a five-year strategic plan aimed at boosting investment projects in a variety of innovation-focused areas.

23 NorwayNorway 1.42/NA
Norway returns to the Index after a one-year absence. The country’s economic outlook is positive, and the government is pursuing reforms to diversity the economy, including promoting the country as a top location for data storage and ecotourism.

24 AustriaAustria 1.42/1.43
Austria holds steady for the third year in a row. Its economic situation is improving, and the newly elected government has proposed to lower the corporate tax rate and instill budget discipline through a constitutional amendment.

25 BrazilBrazil ▼9 1.37/1.52
Brazil continues its streak of ranking in the top 25 throughout the entire history of the Index. Despite lingering economic and political uncertainty, the country’s sheer size makes it an enduring destination for FDI.

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