Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index®

The Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index® is a regular survey of global executives conducted by A.T. Kearney. The Index provides a unique look at the present and future prospects for international investment flows. Companies participating in the survey account for more than $2 trillion in annual global revenue.

Current Research (Global)

Back to Business: Optimism Amid Uncertainty
The 2013 A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®

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At last, investors appear ready to get back to business. Despite fiscal policy gridlock and unresolved debt issues plaguing many developed countries around the world, the executives we surveyed for the 2013 A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index® are surprisingly optimistic about the global economic outlook.

The FDI Confidence Index, in its 13th edition since 1998, ranks countries on how political, economic, and regulatory changes will affect FDI. Based on a survey of more than 300 executives from 28 countries, we examine where global investment dollars are likely to be headed.

Highlights in this year's Index include:


The United States returns to the top spot for the first time since 2001 as it makes progress toward sustainable, steady growth—even, in the context of serious policy uncertainty, as it works to resolve its debt issues and broader fiscal challenges.


Other developed nations in the top 10 include Canada (4th) and Australia (6th), for their unconventional fossil fuels and minerals, and Germany (7th) and the UK (8th), which are perceived as safe despite Europe's ongoing debt and political issues.


Emerging markets continue to charge ahead. They account for 16 of the top 25 countries in the Index, with China (2nd), Brazil (3rd), and India (5th) all in the top five once again.

2013 FDI Confidence Index® Top 25


Title Line


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Media Highlights

News Release

Past Reports

  • FDI Confidence Index®, 2012

    The prospects for near-term recovery are still shaky more than three years since the onset of the global economic crisis, and debt crises loom large.

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  • FDI Confidence Index®, 2010

    FDI flows will remain disappointing through 2011, as executives are wary of making investments in the current economic climate.

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  • FDI Confidence Index®, 2007

    Investors are once again operating on unstable ground. Yet, despite significant obstacles, FDI has continued to rise.


  • FDI Confidence Index®, 2005

    China, India, and Eastern Europe have reached new heights of attractiveness as FDI destinations and increasingly will challenge traditional R&D locations in the industrialized world.


  • FDI Confidence Index®, 2004

    Global executives see the best business environment since 2000, yet a return to positive global FDI flows could be complicated by a new mix of operational risks.


Shifting Global Economic Trends

"Business leaders around the world have declared that China is no longer the world’s number one place to invest; America is."
President Obama
State of the Union,
28 January 2014

U.S. Passes China to Become Most Favored Destination for Foreign Investment, but Washington Could Imperil That
Forbes, 4 February 2014
By Paul Laudicina 

Obama Says Foreign Investors Prefer the U.S. over China—and Here's His Proof
Quartz, 29 January 2014

State of the Union 2014 Fact Check
Politico, 29 January 2014

video Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index Down

Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index Down

ABN Digital, 28 June 2013

Cecily Carmona, A.T. Kearney principal, discusses the realigned expectations in the Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index, which include a global increase in optimism in economic recovery.

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