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The countries that punch above their weight when it comes to foreign direct investment

Regional spotlight: Asia-Pacific - Singapore is the leading country within Asia-Pacific, ranking 12th in the index with a score of 4.9. New Zealand and Cambodia are also placed within the top 25, scoring 3.31 and 3.26, respectively. Ten of the 18 Asia-Pacific countries analysed in the index have a score above one. China, Bangladesh and Japan are the lowest-performing nations overall.

The largest economies are underperforming

China and the US are ranked towards the bottom of the Inward FDI Performance ranking. China ranks 96th (last), while the US ranks 94th. Although the US is the largest FDI destination market it is a larger contributor to the world economy. So, while the US receives 9.3% of global FDI, it accounts for almost one-quarter (24.6%) of the world’s GDP. The US is also the largest source market for FDI. It creates almost three outbound projects for every one inbound project received.

China's performance in the index may come as a shock. However, China’s inbound receipt of greenfield FDI has been in decline for several years. Investor concerns over the US-China decoupling and rising costs in China have caused investors to look at Asian neighbours. While this has been happening, China has become a much more prevalent economic powerhouse. In 2000, China accounted for only 3.5% of world GDP. In 2021, this had risen to 18.1%. The International Monetary Fund estimates that China will account for 21.4% of global GDP by 2027.

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