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1Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
The 2015 A.T. Kearney
Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®
Connected Risks:
Investing in a
Divergent World
Global business leaders are pursuing FDI growth
strategies grounded in informed optimism.
A.T. Kearney issued its first Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index® in June 1998,
in the shadow of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Despite jitters following economic collapse
in Southeast Asia, businesses saw investment opportunity in the Americas, Western Europe,
Russia, and East Asia, and the United States took first place.
Here we are in 2015, with the United States first place in the Index again and business execu-
tives still tormented by a recent global financial crisis. Today’s investors must account for
divergent monetary policies in large developed economies, alongside a surging U.S. dollar
and a sustained commodity super-slump. Developed and developing markets alike are moving
in unexpected ways.
Yet, amid growing divergence and multiplying risks, there is genuine excitement in the global
business community. It starts with the growing belief that the combined strength of the U.S. and
Chinese economies—first and second in this year’s FDI Confidence Index—can buoy the world
economy while others get back on track. And there is genuine dynamism elsewhere if you know
where to look. Numerous countries are opening up long-guarded sectors to privatization and
foreign investment. Downturns and fluctuations in other countries are creating opportunities
for mergers and acquisitions. And new free-trade agreements are already in place or close at
hand, even if the U.S. political environment will continue to frustrate its reliable engagement.
Risk has been a constant since the inception of this Index. The challenge for all global business
leaders remains how to think beyond the last crisis while seeking to avoid the next. Those that
take a “wait and see” approach often find that their competitors—whether small businesses or
country governments—do not hold back in seeking positive growth. Our view is that opportu-
nities abound for those that know where to look, aided by strategic foresight and analysis.
The world is more complicated now than it was in 1997. Global interconnectedness has created
a more competitive and complex landscape. Technologies, ranging from unconventional
energy extraction to predictive and even prescriptive analytics, are changing the game and
increasing the probability of strategic disruption in every sector and corner of the world.
The complexity of risk and opportunity in 2015 underscore the importance of the insights
contained in this year’s FDI Confidence Index. As always, we welcome any input you may have
regarding the Index, its scope and our analysis.
Paul A. Laudicina
Chairman, Global Business Policy Council
Partner and Chairman Emeritus, A.T. Kearney
1Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
The Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, established in 1998 and now in its 15th
edition, examines the overarching trends in FDI. The top 25 ranking is a forward-looking analysis
of how political, economic, and regulatory changes will likely affect countries' FDI inflows in the
coming years. Over its 17-year history, there has been a strong correlation between the rankings
and global FDI flows. Since its inception, countries ranked in the Index have consistently
received at least half of global FDI inflows roughly one year after the survey (see appendix:
About the Study on page 21).
As in past editions, this year’s Index offers valuable insights into how business leaders regard the
medium-term economic outlook. Several major trends emerge from the findings (see figure 1):
•	 Developed markets reign in the Index. Seven of the top 10 countries on the Index and nearly
three-fourths of all countries ranked in the top 25 are developed markets, highlighting how
investors are seeking safer ground for new opportunities. Interest in frontier (newly emerging)
markets varies drastically by region. American investors are least interested in frontier
markets, with 42 percent not invested or seeking to divest (see figure 2 on page 2).
Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015
Figure 1
2015 FDI Confidence Index® ranking and scores
Ranking
United States
China
United Kingdom
Canada
Germany
Brazil
Japan
France
Mexico
Australia
India
Italy
Netherlands
Switzerland
Singapore
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Belgium
Denmark
Austria
Turkey
Poland
Norway
Finland
2.10
2.00
1.95
1.94
1.89
1.87
1.80
1.80
1.79
1.79
1.79
1.75
1.74
1.74
1.73
1.72
1.71
1.71
1.70
1.69
1.69
1.69
1.68
1.68
1.67
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
1
2
4
3
6
5
19
10
12
8
7
20
22
14
9
–
18
16
21
23
–
24
–
–
–
1
2
8
4
7
3
13
12
9
6
5
–
–
18
10
21
16
–
–
–
–
–
19
–
–
201520142013
Values calculated on a 0 to 3 scale
High confidenceLow confidence
0.00 1.00 2.500.50 2.001.50
Maintained ranking Moved up Moved down
2Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
•	 Europe sets an all-time record with 15 countries in the top 25. No region has ever dominated
the top 25 of the Index like Europe in 2015. The continent’s 60 percent share of the rankings is
a sharp rise from its 40 percent last year and roughly 30 percent in 2013. Third-ranked United
Kingdom leads the way, continuing a three-year upward trend. Germany moves up to 5th, Italy
jumps eight positions to 12th, and the Netherlands moves up nine positions to 13th. Austria
(21st) makes its first appearance in the Index since 2002. Norway (24th) and Finland (25th) join
the list for the first time ever, rounding out a strong Nordic showing, with Sweden 18th and
Denmark 20th. Switzerland remains steady at 14th, while Spain (17th) and Belgium (19th) move
up the list. Turkey moves up to 22nd and Poland (23rd) rejoins the list after a one-year absence.
•	 The United States tops the Index for the third straight year. The United States’ lead over
second-place China shrank from last year’s record-setting margin, but it still leads all countries
when it comes to investors’ positive macroeconomic outlook. Forty-six percent of business
executives say they are more optimistic about the U.S. economy’s outlook than they were a
year ago, and only 10 percent say they are more pessimistic. Asia-headquartered companies
are the most optimistic about the U.S. economy, with 44 percent predicting GDP growth
above 3.6 percent over the next three years. International business executives even say that
they are willing to overlook continued political gridlock in Washington, D.C.
•	 China is second for the third straight year. Business executives are carefully watching
China for economic growth of around 7 percent, and for signs of a successful transition to a
consumption-led economy. If those indicators emerge, most executives say their companies
would increase investment activity into China. Overall, countries in Asia Pacific have a mixed
showing in the Index, with Japan rising to 7th (from 19th last year), and South Korea reentering
the Index at 16th after going unranked last year. Australia (10th), India (11th), and Singapore
(15th) fall in the rankings but maintain top 20 positions.
•	 Business executives are optimistic about the Americas. Investors are more optimistic about
the Americas than any other region, led by the United States but also including Canada (4th),
Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015
Figure 2
Level of investor interest in frontier markets
(% of respondents)
Americas Europe Asia
30%
17%
10%
Not currently
invested, and not
seeking investment
opportunities
12%
16%
10%
Currently
invested, but
seeking to
divest
18%
23%
28%
Not currently
invested, but
seeking new
investment
opportunities
23%
25%
31%
Currently
invested, and
maintaining level
of investment
17%
19%
21%
Currently
invested, and
seeking new
investment
opportunities
30
40
20
10
0
3Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
Brazil (6th), and Mexico (9th). Fifty-one percent of respondents are more optimistic about
economies in the Americas than last year and only 8 percent are more pessimistic. In contrast,
investors are more pessimistic about the economies of both the Middle East and North Africa
(MENA) and Sub-Saharan Africa, where no countries make this year’s rankings (see figure 3).
•	 Global FDI flows hold steady, but still lag their pre-2009 peak. By next year, two-thirds of
companies plan to return to pre-crisis FDI levels. The most important factor for investors in
determining which countries to target remains market size, followed by a variety of regulatory
factors affecting the ease of doing business and perceptions of the internal security
environment.
•	 Would-be investors still feel uncertain about the global environment. Macroeconomic
uncertainty remains the most important single factor holding back FDI. Executives are evenly
split about whether global economic fundamentals support higher growth now compared
to before the crisis. Beyond the long tail of the Great Recession, rocky geopolitics in 2014
weighed on executives’ minds. Thirty-nine percent of respondents say an increase in geo-
political tensions is possible in the next year; this is particularly a concern among American-
and European-headquartered businesses.
•	 Asian executives are eager to invest. Asian investors lead the charge with the strongest
commitment to restoring pre-recession levels of FDI, a willingness to take greater risks, and
pronounced interest in frontier markets. Seventy-one percent of Asian investors plan to return
to pre-recession levels of FDI by next year, the highest level of any region. Asian business execu-
tives are also most optimistic in their outlook about the likelihood of political and economic
crises in developed and developing markets. Eight out of 10 Asian investors are interested
in either maintaining, commencing, or increasing investments in frontier markets. Even
regarding Russia, which is not ranked in this year’s Index, Asia-headquartered companies
remain the most bullish on investing in the country in the medium term.
Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015
Figure 3
The outlook for regional economies
Compared to a year ago, how has your view on the regional economy changed?
(% of respondents)
More optimistic About the same More pessimistic
51%
41%
8%
Americas
42%
49%
9%
Asia Pacific
36%
44%
21%
Europe
24%
50%
26%
Middle East
and North Africa
19%
52%
29%
Sub-Saharan
Africa
30
50
40
60
20
10
0
4Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
2014 FDI Flows Relatively Steady, Still Not Recovered
Looking back at 2014, global FDI inflows declined 8 percent to $1.26 trillion, according to esti-
mates from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).1
Despite the
relative stability, FDI levels remain at just two-thirds of the record levels reached in 2007. FDI flows
to developed countries fell by 14 percent last year, while flows to developing countries increased
by 4 percent to a new high of $700 billion, or 56 percent of the global share (see figure 4).
Sources: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development; A.T. Kearney analysis
Figure 4
World FDI inflows (2005–2014)
($ billion)
0
500
1,000
1,500
2,000
20062005 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014e
World
Developing
markets
Developed
markets
Note: Transition economies include Southeast Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Georgia.
Sources: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Figure 5
FDI inflows by region
($ billion)
2012 2013 2014e
414 427
492
Developing
Asia
310
225
305
Europe
178 190
153
Latin America
and Caribbean
213
302
139
North America
84 92
45
Transition
economies
55 56 55
Africa
300
500
400
200
100
0
1
	 All monetary values are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted.
5Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
Regional estimates by UNCTAD indicate that Asia (excluding the western part of the continent)
received the greatest FDI inflows, increasing 15 percent to $492 billion, with China (up 3 percent
to $128 billion) the largest single FDI recipient. FDI inflows to the Americas fell by more than
50 percent to $139 billion, a drop largely caused by sizable divestments in the United States.
In contrast, European countries saw an increase of 13 percent to $267 billion. Inflows to Latin
America fell by 19 percent, and inflows to Africa decreased by 3 percent. Transition economies,
including Russia, fell by more than 50 percent to $45 billion (see figure 5 on page 4).
Data from Thomson Reuters’ 2014 M&A Financial Advisory Review show that global M&A had its
largest increase since 2007, with more than 40,000 deals worth more than $3.5 trillion—a 47
percent increase from 2013. Large-cap deals of more than $5 billion almost doubled in volume
with 95 deals announced in 2014. Media, healthcare, and energy were the most active sectors,
while telecommunications was the only sector to see a decline, despite an uptick in European
activity. Cross-border M&A totaled $1.3 trillion, a 78 percent increase from 2013, and accounting
for 37 percent of the total M&A volume.
Cautious Optimism Despite Risks and Low Growth
As A.T. Kearney’s 2015-2020 Global Economic Outlook examines in depth, the world economy
is in a period of growth with divergence. The divergence is all the more evident as the monetary
policies of central banks in major economies from Washington to Beijing and Brussels part ways
and currency values reach new highs and lows. Meanwhile, growth has reached what IMF
Managing Director Christine Lagarde has called a “new mediocre,” with expected annual global
GDP increases of only 3 to 4 percent. While the United States seems to be on solid footing
again, Europe remains lackluster, Japan has fallen back into recession, and developing markets
are showing wildly varying levels of growth. China is now targeting 7 percent annual growth,
and adjustments within its economy have driven down worldwide commodity prices, leaving
many investors wary of any further signs of slowdown.
Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015
Figure 6
Compared to a year ago, how has your view on the global economy changed?
(% of respondents)
2014 2015
18%
15%
Much more
optimistic
61%
46%
Somewhat more
optimistic
7% 5%
No change
11%
27%
Somewhat more
pessimistic
2%
8%
Much more
pessimistic
30
50
40
60
70
20
10
0
6Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015
Figure 7
Is your outlook on this country more positive or negative than it was in 2014?
United States
Canada
Germany
China
Australia
India
United Kingdom
Brazil
Japan
Netherlands
Switzerland
Mexico
Singapore
Denmark
Sweden
Poland
Belgium
South Korea
France
Norway
Spain
Austria
Italy
Turkey
Finland
4610
3510
13
17
11
12
14
17
18
13
14
19
13
12
14
15
15
16
19
14
18
14
20
20
14
33
31
28
28
28
28
28
27
27
27
26
25
25
25
25
25
25
24
24
22
22
22
21
50403020100102030
(% of respondents)
More positive
More negative
Despite these realities, most business executives are optimistic. Sixty percent of respondents say
they are more optimistic about the global economy than they were a year ago—notably down
from the 79 percent who held the same view last year, but still reflective of a more grounded
optimism (see figure 6 on page 5). Investors are most enthusiastic about the prospects for the
United States, Canada, and Germany in the year ahead (see figure 7). On the question of whether
the fundamentals of the global economy today support significantly or moderately higher levels
of growth than prior to the crisis, investors are split down the middle (see figure 8).
Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015
Figure 8
How have the fundamentals of the global economy changed since the 2008 crisis?
(% of respondents)
Significantly
higher level
of growth
Moderately
higher level
of growth
No change Moderately
lower level
of growth
Significantly
lower level
of growth
30
40
20
10
0
35
3
37
10
15
7Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015
Figure 9
When will your company’s FDI return to its pre-crisis level?
(% of respondents)
It already has Withina year 2016 2017 2018 or later
30
20
10
0
17
29
1819
17
Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015
Figure 10
If your company’s FDI hasn’t recovered, why not?
(% of respondents)
Macroeconomic
uncertainty
Lower risk
tolerance
Regulatory
uncertainty
Higher reserve
requirements
Lack of
quality targets
30
40
20
10
0
23
26
31
42
21
Lack of funds
17
Macroeconomic uncertainty is the most
common reason companies have not yet
returned to pre-crisis FDI levels.
Business executives have continued to postpone a return to pre-crisis investment levels (see
figure 9). In the 2014 Index, 85 percent of respondents expected to restore FDI to pre-crisis
levels by 2016; in 2015, 66 percent say they will reach those levels by 2016.
When asked why FDI levels have not recovered, respondents say that macroeconomic uncer-
tainty remains the most important factor, followed by a lower risk tolerance. With discounted
prices and sufficient funds available, however, companies are equipped to invest if they can
navigate the spectrum of risk (see figure 10). In identifying markets for FDI, executives continue
to prioritize market size, followed by a variety of regulatory factors affecting the ease of doing
business and the overall security environment (see figure 11 on page 8).
8Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
Note: Respondents selected three factors.
Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015
Figure 11
What are the most important factors to your company when choosing where to make
foreign investments?
Domestic market size
Transparency of government regulations and lack of corruption
Tax rates and ease of tax payment
General security environment
Cost of labor
Efficiency of legal and regulatory processes
Government incentives for investors
Talent and skill level of labor pool
Ease of moving capital into and out of country
Availability of financial capital in domestic market
Strength of investor and property rights
Quality of transportation infrastructure
Availability of raw materials and other inputs
Country’s participation in regional and bilateral trade agreements
Quality of telecommunications infrastructure
Quality of electricity infrastructure
Availability of land and real estate
25%
22%
22%
21%
20%
20%
18%
17%
17%
15%
15%
11%
11%
11%
10%
8%
8%
3020100
(% of respondents)
Availability of inputs
Labor
Infrastructure
Financial and legal environment
Government regulations Security
Market size
Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015
Figure 12
Which wild cards are more likely to occur in the next year?
(% of respondents)
Americas Europe Asia
45%44%
24%
Increasein
geopolitical
tensions
35%35%
25%
Political
instability in
an emerging
market
29%
25%
31%
Economic
crisis in an
emerging
market
27%26%
29%
Economic
crisis in a
developed
market
26%25%
22%
Political
instability in
a developed
market
20%
18% 19%
More
restrictive
business
regulatory
environ-
ment in a
developed
market
18%
10%
25%
More
restrictive
business
regulatory
environ-
ment in an
emerging
market
16%
11%
15%
Decreasein
geopolitical
tensions
30
40
50
20
10
0
9Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
Geopolitical Uncertainty Colors Future Outlook
The geopolitical rollercoaster of 2014 appears to have weighed on the minds of business execu-
tives as they ponder the future outlook. Thirty-nine percent of respondents—and particularly those
headquartered in the Americas or Europe—cite an increase in geopolitical tensions as possible in
the next year. Investors are also concerned about political instability in developing markets, as well
as economic crises in both developing and developed markets (see figure 12 on page 8).
The notable absences of Russia, the Middle East, and Africa from this year’s Index owe at least
in some measure to geopolitical quakes in those regions, from the Ukraine crisis and resulting
sanctions to the advance of extremist groups in Iraq and Syria to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Technology Cuts Both Ways; Cybersecurity
Concerns Dominate
Business executives view technology as a double-edged sword. The investors we surveyed
identify big data and predictive analytics, mobile technology, and cloud computing as the
biggest technology opportunities, yet those advances as well as many others are also perceived
as major challenges by almost as many investors (see figure 13). And while two-thirds of execu-
tives believe that consumer data has simplified their companies’ decision-making on operations
and strategy, they are split on whether consumer data-informed strategy has in fact yielded
better results for them.
Two out of three business executives surveyed say they are moderately or significantly worried
about cyberattack, unsurprising in a year marked by high-profile hacking against major
companies. Forty-five percent say that their firms have already been targeted by cyberattack,
with 12 percent admitting to a past cyber breech and 33 percent believing that their defenses
were successful (see figure 14 on page 10).
Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015
Figure 13
Which technological advances does your company view as the biggest
opportunity or challenge?
Big data and predictive analytics
Mobile technology
Cloud computing
Cybersecurity technology
Nanotechnology
Automation and robotics
Biotechnology
Internet of Things
Social networking technology
Artificial intelligence
28
3127
23
34
23
19
21
22
19
24
28
31
26
25
25
22
21
21
18
40302010010203040
(% of respondents)
Opportunity
Challenge
10Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015
Figure 14
What is your company’s experience with cybersecurity and cyberattacks?
(% of respondents)
Have not been
a target, have
strong defenses
Have not been
a target, have
some defenses
Have been
target, defenses
successful
Breached by
attack, have
increased
defenses
Breached by
attack, have
not increased
defenses
30
40
20
10
0
5
33
18
38
7
Regional Findings and Context
Americas
The United States leads the Index for the third year in a row, and North America makes a strong
showing with Canada and Mexico also in the top 10. In South America, Brazil is the only ranked
country.
The economy of the United States seems to have entered a period of steady recovery more
than six years since it suffered its largest financial crisis since 1929. FDI inflows to the United
States in 2014 fell by two-thirds to $86 billion, however this was due in large measure to
Verizon’s $130 billion mega-buyback of shares from UK-based Vodafone, which created a large
outflow. In 2014, FDI inflows in manufacturing increased by 25 percent, with more than half of all
investment in manufacturing geared toward chemicals.
The United States is aggressively courting foreign investors through its SelectUSA program,
which is engaged in an outreach campaign to raise awareness among foreign business
investors regarding opportunities in the United States, better cataloging existing U.S. grants,
loans, loan guarantees, and highlighting tax incentives for foreign investors.
Although outflows from China increased in recent years, Chinese investment in the United States
was a mere $1.0 billion in 2014, a 60 percent decrease from 2013 levels. On the other hand, Japan
was for the second straight year the largest source of FDI inflows to the United States, with more
than $45 billion of new investments. In the largest Japanese deal of the year, Suntory Holdings
acquired Beam Inc. for $16 billion in April 2014 to create the world’s third-largest high-end spirits
maker. The deal worked off its plans to expand its overseas operations in the face of an aging
population at home. In June 2014, Dai-ichi Life Insurance announced its $5.7 billion acquisition
of Protective Life, and in December, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals announced the acquisition of
Avanir Pharmaceuticals, a developer of treatments for neurological diseases, for $3.5 billion.
The pharmaceutical and healthcare industry has been extremely active. Other significant
acquisitions include Germany-based Bayer’s purchase of Merck and Co. for $14.2 billion, Swiss
firm Roche Holding’s acquisition of InterMune for $8.3 billion, and German giant Merck KGaA’s
11Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
purchase of Sigman-Aldrich for $17 billion. Actavis, headquartered in Ireland, took part in two of
the biggest deals of the year—its $70.5 billion acquisition of Allergan and its $28 billion purchase
of Forest Laboratories.
In January 2014, Italian automaker Fiat completed its acquisition of Chrysler for $4.35 billion.
Following Chrysler’s announcement of bankruptcy in 2009, Fiat had already shared ownership
with the United Automobile Workers union; the acquisition gave Fiat full ownership and further
expanded its global presence.
Canada’s 4th place ranking is unsurprising, given that it attracted an estimated $53 billion in
2014 FDI inflows. A number of trade agreements signed in 2014 are likely to further improve
Canada’s FDI stock in years ahead. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
with the EU signed in 2014 will provide Canadian investors with access to the EU. In addition, the
Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) came into effect
in October 2014 and will increase investment opportunities between the two countries.
Despite sluggish economic growth,
investors are still attracted to Brazil‘s large
domestic market, growing middle class,
and natural resource base.
With the lowest marginal effective tax rate among G7 countries, Canada continues to attract
international investments seeking lower rates. In February 2015, UK-based Mylan N.V. completed
the acquisition of Abbott Laboratories’ non-U.S. developed market drugs business for $5.7 billion,
following efforts to optimize its global tax structure and achieve greater financial flexibility. In
December 2014, U.S.-based Burger King acquired Tim Hortons, the fast casual restaurant chain,
for $11 billion.
Aligned with expectations for a growing number of mergers in the oil and gas industry due to
low prices, Spain’s Repsol agreed to acquire Talisman Energy for $8.3 billion. The deal is expected
to increase Repsol’s oil and gas output by more than 75 percent, transforming it into a signif-
icant global player.
Brazil maintained its spot as the largest FDI recipient in Latin America in 2014 with inflows of
$62 billion, and looking to the future, it comes in 6th in the Index. Despite sluggish economic
growth, investors are still attracted by the country’s large domestic market, growing middle
class, and natural resource base.
Many foreign companies are looking for opportunities to reach Brazil’s growing middle class
consumers. In April 2014, Banco Santander of Spain agreed to acquire the remaining portion of
its Brazil unit for $6.5 billion. In March 2015, British American Tobacco offered $3.5 billion for the
remaining stake in the country’s largest cigarette maker, Souza Cruz.
Mexico gained three spots to reach 9th, as President Peña Nieto’s reform agenda continues
to improve Mexico’s business climate. Its 2013 FDI levels of $38 billion were an all-time high,
with the majority of investment targeted at Mexico’s growing manufacturing sector, including
high-value-added electronics. Mexico’s Economy Ministry has reported that flows fell to $22.6
12Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
billion in 2014, with inflows of $33.9 billion offset by $11.4 billion in outflows. Significant reforms
in the energy sector will occur this year to allow foreign private investment.
As a result of the telecom reforms that targeted Carlos Slim’s América Móvil, which controls
70 percent of the market, customer prices fell nearly 17 percent between February 2013 and
January 2015. In response to the policy changes, AT&T made a $5 billion divestment in América
Móvil and subsequently acquired Grupo Iusacell SA, Mexico’s third largest wireless operator, for
$1.7 billion. Going forward, these reforms are expected to open up growth opportunities for
smaller competitors.
In November 2014, the American chemicals maker PPG Industries acquired paints maker
Consorcio Comex for $2.3 billion. This followed the rejection by the Mexican federal compe-
tition authority of the sale to Sherwin-Williams for a proposed $2.34 billion on the grounds
that it would create unfair market conditions.
Europe
Europe has seen unprecedented interest from business executives this year despite its lagging
economy. Several considerations are likely at play. First, Europe offers safe harbor in an increas-
ingly volatile global economic environment. Even as negotiations regarding Greek debt continue,
developments in Europe suggest fewer unwelcome surprises this year. Second, investors are also
likely heartened by the European Central Bank’s long overdue decision to move from austerity to
stimulus through quantitative easing. Early 2015 economic data suggests that this may be the
spark that awakens parts of Europe’s lagging economy. And third, there remain more opportu-
nities for foreign investors to come to the table with needed capital.
Despite the region’s flat economic growth, FDI increased 13 percent in 2014 to reach $305 billion.
Driving this FDI was a series of M&A megadeals consolidating the telecom industry. These deals
were backed by the European Commission (EC), which announced it is encouraging the 100
operators across Europe to consolidate and increase infrastructure investment while continuing
to ensure that there is sufficient competition for consumers. As part of its 2015 agenda, the EC
has also prioritized forming a single digital communications market to promote growth.
The United Kingdom continued its ascent in the rankings, and the third place ranking is its
highest since 2002. In addition to breathing a sigh of relief after Scottish voters rejected a
measure for full independence, the UK’s economic recovery and strong employment growth
compared to the rest of the eurozone made it Europe’s top destination for FDI in 2014, with
$37.1 billion in net inflows. It was also the top destination for Chinese investors, with an
estimated $5.1 billion in new investments. More investment may come in the wake of multiyear
tax reform initiated in 2007, which will by April 2015 reach a reduction of 20 percent—one of
Europe’s most competitive rates.
London’s famously expensive real estate sector is a particular source of FDI interest. The early
2015 acquisition of Songbird Estates, which owns east London’s Canary Wharf Financial District,
is one of the biggest real estate deals in UK history for $4 billion. The sale to the Qatar Investment
Authority (QIA) and Canada’s Brookfield Property Partners includes plans to aggressively develop
the 30 acres of vacant land for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis. This deal
followed the July 2014 deal by QIA and China Life Insurance to acquire another office building in
Canary Wharf for $1.35 billion.
Developing market investors are also interested in UK-based food companies. In November
2014, United Biscuits was acquired for an estimated $3.2 billion by Turkey’s Yildiz, creating the
13Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
world’s third largest biscuit maker and providing access to British markets. In one of the largest
restaurant deals, Hony Capital of China acquired PizzaExpress for $1.54 billion, with plans to
expand the restaurant into Asia for future growth.
In the financial sector, Canada-based Fairfax Financial Holding’s announcement that it will
acquire Brit Plc for $1.88 billion was one of several significant undertakings by financial
companies seeking to diversify their portfolios and expand their global reach.
The worldwide trend of telecom FDI activity also occurred in the United Kingdom. In March
2015, the Hong Kong group Hutchinson Whampoa finalized an agreement to purchase O2 UK for
$15.2 billion, with plans to merge the company with its existing British mobile group, Three, and
create the second-largest operator with more than 31 million users. This follows the sale of EE,
the UK’s largest mobile group, to British operator BT for $19 billion, from Deutsche Telekom and
France’s Orange. If approved by regulators, this will reduce the number of mobile networks in
the UK from four to three.
Francehastakenstepstodrawinvestors
by boosting tax incentives, simplifying
procedures, and easing restrictions.
Germany (5th) has remained a source of stability and sound economics throughout the eurozone
crisis. In 2013, Germany received $26.7 billion in inflows, but 2014 figures are estimated to be
net negative inflows of minus-$2.1 billion, primarily due to changes in the flow of intracompany
loans. Nonetheless, with more than 60 percent of its exports directed outside the eurozone, the
ongoing devaluation of the euro, the positive effects of ECB quantitative easing, and stronger
demand from the rest of Europe are expected to boost exports.
In September, British Sky Broadcasting acquired Sky Deutschland, the German broadcaster,
from 21st Century Fox for $4.7 billion. The oil and gas unit of the German utility company, RWE
Dea, also completed its contentious $6.3 billion sale to LetterOne, which is based in Luxembourg
and owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman. The UK’s Department of Energy & Climate
Change had objected to the deal under concerns of future sanctions against LetterOne.
France continues to move up, gaining two spots to 8th. With the world’s fifth largest economy,
the government continues to take steps to make the country more attractive to foreign
investors, including tax incentives, simplified administrative procedures, and eased restrictions
on investment activities. France gained 10 spots to take 61st in the World Economic Forum’s
Global Competitiveness Index’s sub-category of labor market efficiency, showing the positive
effect of its efforts for labor market reforms on a tough challenge. As part of the National Pact for
Growth, the competiveness and employment tax credit aims to boost investment by reducing
labor costs by 6 percent in 2015, amounting to €20 billion in annual savings for companies.
While FDI inflows in 2014 are estimated to be negative due to the repayment of intra-company
loans and Nestlé’s $9 billion divestment of L’Oréal, the number of foreign investments increased
by 8 percent to more than 1,000 projects. These investments targeted high-value-added activ-
ities, with production comprising 30 percent of investments and R&D contributing to 9 percent
of investments.
14Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
This year has been off to a promising start on the basis of high-value deals. The announced
merger of Lafarge with Switzerland’s Holcim, worth $44 billion, will create the world’s largest
cement company. And GE’s acquisition of Alstom’s energy business for more than $13.5 billion,
pending approval from the European Commission, has gained the support of the French
government after revisions to the deal that keep some elements of Alstom’s power and grid
business in French hands.
Asian investors are showing strong interest in France. In January 2015, Chinese conglomerate
Fosun International successfully acquired the resort operator Club Méditerranée for $1.12 billion,
after an ongoing battle with Bonomi of Italy. The final deal was valued at 45 percent above the
original offer. SA Peugeot Citroën received $1.1 billion from China’s Dongfeng for a stake in one
of the world’s oldest car makers, increasing its access to capital and developing ties with China’s
automotive industry. Mahindra Two Wheelers of India acquired a controlling stake in Peugeot
Motorcycles.
Italy gained eight spots, rising to 12th in this year’s Index. Despite weak economic growth in
2014, the country continued to attract high levels of investment. In the face of a mounting
unemployment crisis, the government worked to pass controversial labor market reforms under
the Jobs Act that ease firing restrictions and address Italy’s rigid labor market.
Italian acquisitions come at a time when recession and increased competition from abroad
have caused falling profitability. The household appliance company Indesit was acquired by
U.S-based Whirlpool for a little more than $1 billion; Whirlpool gained access to European
markets. And the announced sale of a 49 percent stake in Alitalia to Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airlines
shored up the embattled carrier, which aims to return to profitability by 2018 by cutting the
number of aircraft and flights.
Italy is aggressively targeting Chinese business investors. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
visited Beijing in June 2014 to encourage foreign investment. Efforts such as the website
vendereaicinesi.it, which translates as “sell to the Chinese,” aim to facilitate the purchase of
Italian companies. More than 200 Italian businesses are now controlled by Chinese owners.
Most recently, China National Chemical announced plans to acquire Italian tire manufacturer
Pirelli & C. for $7.7 billion in what would be one of the largest acquisitions by a Chinese
state firm.
The Netherlands (13th) climbs nine spots, and received $42 billion in FDI inflows in 2014, a
steady rise from its 2013 level of $24.4 billion and 2012 level of $9.7 billion. Efforts to increase
foreign investment under the brand “Invest in Holland” target chemicals, agrifood, high-tech
systems, life sciences and health, and information technology. International start-ups are also
targeted under the program StartupDelta, which seeks to build Europe’s best connected
and largest startup ecosystem.
The United States has been the largest investor, launching 65 projects in 2014, including expan-
sions by Expedia and Netflix. Google announced plans to build a data center in 2016, investing
$773 million in the Netherlands’ technology sector.
There is also movement in telecom and real estate. In January 2014, Liberty Global of the United
Kingdom acquired Dutch cable operator Ziggo for $12.7 billion, adding 2.7 million cable
customers to its existing Dutch unit, UPC, and creating a business that reaches 90 percent of
Dutch homes. In July 2014, Klépierre, the French real estate investment company, announced
plans to acquire Corio, its Dutch rival, for $9.7 billion to create the largest owner of retail
shopping centers in Europe.
15Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
Switzerland remains in 14th on the Index as investors continue to recognize its world-class
infrastructure and competitive business environment. In 2013, Switzerland had negative net
inflows of minus-$5.2 billion after recording positive inflows of $10.2 billion in 2012. The January
2015 decision to remove the Swiss franc’s ceiling against the Euro brought dramatic appre-
ciation in the currency, affecting Swiss exports and creating deflationary pressures.
In 2014, the country’s pharmaceutical giants were involved in multiple international strategic
deals. Novartis undertook a multibillion-dollar asset swap to focus on better growing its core
area and exiting weaker ones. This included the $5.4 billion sale of its animal health business to
the U.S.’s Eli Lilly and the $7.1 billion sale of its non-influenza vaccine business to the UK’s
GlaxoSmithKline. In exchange, Novartis purchased GSK’s $16 billion portfolio of cancer drugs,
and the two companies entered into a new consumer healthcare joint venture.
In the largest FDI inflow of the year, Walgreens, the U.S. drugstore giant, followed up on its 2012
purchase of 45 percent of Alliance Boots by acquiring the remaining 55 percent for $16 billion.
Walgreens now has full ownership as well as a strong European presence.
Switzerland maintains a strong position in
the Index as investors are still drawn to its
world-class infrastructure and compet-
itive business environment.
Spain, in 17th place, has seen an upward trend in FDI in recent years as it pulls away from the
economic brink. In the face of a national debt crisis, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has success-
fully pursued efforts to attract investors, including 2012 labor market reforms and 2015 tax
reforms that will gradually reduce the corporate income tax from 30 to 25 percent by 2016.
Though unemployment remains above 20 percent, growth forecasts for Spain are promising,
with the weak euro supporting exports, and low oil prices offering a financial boost.
Vodafone purchased cable operator Grupo Corporativo Ono for $10 billion in efforts to offer
bundled services and strengthen its competition in the Spanish market. The $3.62 billion
merger of Jazztel, the Spanish broadband and cellphone operator, with France’s Orange is
under review for an antitrust probe by the European Union, as regulators are concerned that the
merger will drive up consumer prices in Spain. The outcome will affect the rapidly consolidating
telecom sector across Europe.
In July 2014, the drug maker Almirall was acquired by the UK’s AstraZeneca for $2.1 billion, to
gain control of its respiratory drugs. And the European private equity firm Cinven acquired Gas
Natural Fenosa, the fiber-optic network operator in Spain and Latin America, for $697 million.
Sweden (18th) is ranked for the second straight year on the strength of its business environment,
one of the lowest corporate tax systems in Europe, and world-class infrastructure for research,
which attracts investors in energy, telecom, public transport, information technology, and
healthcare.
Microsoft agreed to acquire Swedish video game developer Mojang (creator of the block-
buster hit Minecraft) for $2.5 billion with the aim to bolster the company’s mobile efforts.
16Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
The $9.1 billion takeover of Scania AB by Germany’s Volkswagen gave the largest European auto
company full control over the Swedish truck maker as it plans to fully integrate it with its own
truck making affiliate, MAN.
Belgium gains two spots to 19th on the Index. Its strategic geographic location at the cross-
roads of Europe and strong logistics, infrastructure, transportation, and communication make
it a logical destination for European platform investment. In September 2014, Clear2Pay, the
global payments provider, was acquired by U.S.-based Fidelity National Information Services
for $493 million. In November 2014, Perrigo of the United States agreed to purchase Omega
Pharma NV for $4.5 billion. The deal expands Perrigo’s presence in Europe and places it among
the world’s five largest providers of over-the-counter drugs.
Denmark gains three spots to take 20th. Notably, Denmark boasts the highest ranking in Europe
in the Ease of Doing Business report. In 2014, the government unveiled its second growth plan in
two years, further cutting costs for companies to encourage job creation and production. As a
leader in clean technology and life sciences, Denmark is aiming to be the first fossil-fuel-free
country in 2050; it is on track for this goal, with 39 percent of its electricity needs in 2014 met
with wind energy. In early 2015, Apple announced its plan to establish one of the world’s largest
data centers in Denmark, a facility that will rely fully on renewable energy. Furthering Denmark’s
high-tech sector, Hitachi of Japan has established a big data research laboratory.
Denmark’s strong biotech industry is closely connected with university research, giving it inter-
national attention and attracting investors. Santaris Pharma started off as part of a university
research project and cooperated with many large pharma companies before being acquired
by Switzerland’s Roche for $250 million.
Austria returns to the Index after a 13-year absence and takes 21st. The Austrian economy is
dominated by small- and medium-sized enterprises, which have promoted an entrepreneurial
private sector. In December 2014, Roche agreed to the $489 million purchase of biotech company
Dutalys, a specialist in the discovery and development of antibody-based drugs. Telekom Austria
was targeted by América Móvil for expansionary efforts in Europe; the Mexican firm was forced to
seek new markets in response to new regulations in Mexico designed to increase competition.
Turkey gains two spots to 22nd on the Index. Turkey’s government will host this year’s G20 and
B20 summits in Antalya, at which it plans to emphasize implementation of a shared agenda to
realize global economic growth objectives. It also has its own ambitious growth agenda, having
prioritized eight key sectors and established plans for investments in infrastructure as part of
its goal to become a top 10 economy by 2023, the 100th anniversary of the founding of its
modern republic.
To meet those objectives in an increasingly competitive global environment, and to compen-
sate for its relatively low domestic savings rate, Turkey will need to continue to push forward
with business reforms that attract greater and more diversified FDI targeting higher value-
added industries. As a platform to serve both Europe and the Middle East and boasting the
16th largest domestic market in the world, Turkey has untapped investment potential.
In 2014, FDI inflows fell slightly to $12.2 billion, with investment to the financial sector falling
by over 50 percent. However, there was an increase to the wholesale and retail sectors, particu-
larly from European investors, with Middle Eastern investors also showing new interest.
Poland (23rd) returns to the Index after an absence in 2014. With a strategic location, large
population, and economic stability, the country attracts investments in R&D, machinery,
17Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
business process outsourcing, biotech, and IT. Poland stands to gain significantly from its eco-
nomic interconnectedness with Germany and the ECB’s quantitative easing, while its independent
currency outside of the eurozone will allow the economy to adjust and retain its competitive
position. Poland is also likely to benefit from substantial planned improvements of its transpor-
tation infrastructure, including road, rail, and seaports. Between 2014 and 2021, Poland will be
the largest recipient of EU structural funds (more than $100 billion) further stimulating invest-
ments in infrastructure and new production capacity, increasing productivity and attracting FDI.
Norway makes its first appearance on the Index in 24th place. Despite a small market size, its
strong natural resource base and highly educated workforce have contributed to developments
in high-growth sectors such as renewable energy and ICT. Higher tax deductions for R&D under
the SkatteFUNN Tax Incentive Scheme raised the basis for tax reductions and doubled the
maximum ceiling. Sweden remains the most significant investor in Norway. The Swedish telecom
group TeliaSonera plans to acquire Tele2, a Norwegian telecom company, for $740 million.
Asian countries continue to attract a
growing share of world FDI inflows, and
this trend will continue as domestic
consumer markets continue to grow
in coming years.
Finland (25th) also debuts in the Index, capping off the strong presence of Nordic countries.
Driven by its superb levels of innovation and exceptional performance in higher education,
Finland ranked fourth in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index. With one
of the highest rates of R&D spending per capita, cooperation between universities and the
private sector have allowed businesses to benefit from the latest research. In April 2014,
Microsoft completed its acquisition of Nokia’s phone business and licensed patents for $7.2
billion in efforts to revive the once global leader in mobile phones (which more than a decade
ago was valued at $200 billion).
Asia Pacific
Asian countries continue to attract a growing share of world FDI inflows, and this trend will
continue as domestic consumer markets continue to grow. In coming years, a finalized Trans-
Pacific Partnership could unlock new trade opportunities between the Americas and Asia
Pacific, while the launch of the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will create
an alternative source of development capital for the region’s developing markets.
China, second in the Index for the third year in a row, saw a 3 percent increase in FDI in 2014 and
had the highest level of global FDI inflows for the first time. FDI was targeted mainly at the
service sector, which has opened up thanks to ongoing reforms. In November 2014, China’s
National Development and Reform Commission released a new draft investment catalog that
reduced the number of sectors where foreign industries are prohibited (from 79 to 38), creating
new opportunities in logistics, e-commerce, transportation, and finance.
18Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
Recent reforms and the increasing pressures of globalization (particularly the need to improve
efficiency to address the growing cost of labor in China) contributed to the success of recent
deals struck between major corporations and Chinese state-run companies. In January 2015,
one of China’s largest state-owned conglomerates, Citic, sold a 20 percent stake to Japan’s
Itochu and Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group for more than $10 billion.
In efforts to use China’s semiconductor business as a way to improve its position in the fast-
moving mobile device sector, U.S.-based Intel announced plans to purchase a stake in
Spreadtrum Communications for $1.5 billion. The deal includes an agreement for close collabo-
ration to create Intel-based chips with models and wireless capability in efforts aimed at users
in developing markets.
While China has succeeded in attracting FDI inflows over the past ten years, it also is rapidly
increasing its global FDI outflows, particularly to Europe. In 2014, outbound FDI flows exceeded
$100 billion, nearly quadruple the $26 billion from 2007. The acquisition of Western brands has
allowed Chinese firms to compete more effectively with Western firms globally.
Japan’s 12-spot rise to 7th place moves it into its highest position since 2004. This may be
evidence that the third arrow of the Shinzō Abe administration’s growth strategy, unveiled
just this past year, has increased confidence in the economy among investors. In addition to
numerous measures meant to combat key demographic concerns for investors, the strategy
also introduces steps such as improving corporate governance and enhancing labor mobility,
which are intended to double Japan’s FDI stock to 35 trillion yen (about $300 billion) by 2020.
The depreciation of the yen has made Japan’s real estate market especially attractive to inter-
national investors. In October 2014, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC Private Limited,
paid $1.7 billion for commercial real estate in one of the most desirable locations in Tokyo.
The following month, U.S.-based Blackstone announced plans to acquire General Electric’s
residential property business in Japan for $1.6 billion. In February 2015, Meguro Gajoen Complex
in Tokyo was acquired for $1.2 billion by a joint venture between U.S.-based LaSalle Investment
and China Investment Corporation.
Tenth-ranked Australia remains a top global destination for FDI, having attracted $50 billion
in FDI inflows in 2014. Australia recently completed negotiations for three landmark trade
agreements with China, South Korea, and Japan, which bodes well for its FDI outlook in the
coming year. The bilateral trade deal with China eliminates many tariffs on Australian exports
and allows Chinese investors to make a single investment of $950 million without review by
regulators. Hong Kong-based conglomerate Cheung Kong’s takeover of Envestra, an Australian
gas pipeline firm, for $2.4 billion late in 2014 could be a sign of deepening of investment
relations ahead.
The trade deals with Korea and Japan should also boost investment flows between these
nations. In February 2015, Japan Post acquired Toll Holdings, the Australian package delivery
company, for $5.1 billion, with aims to build one of the world’s top five logistics companies.
India falls four spots to 11th, losing its top 10 position for the first time since 2002. Still, FDI
inflows increased to $35 billion in 2014, a 26 percent increase from the previous year. As part
of plans to boost economic growth and modernize the bureaucracy, Prime Minister Narenda
Modi’s new government launched the “Make in India” initiative in September 2014, aiming
to improve the ease of doing business in India, and remove or relax foreign equity caps in
several areas.
19Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
Revised estimates indicate that India’s GDP grew faster than China’s last year, and its consumer
market remains significant, sparking broad investor interest. In April 2014, UK-based Diageo
doubled its stake in United Spirits Ltd, India’s largest spirits company, for $1.9 billion. Vodafone
bought full control of its Indian unit for $1.5 billion, the first foreign carrier to gain full ownership
since the government removed the 74 percent cap on outside ownership in the telecom
industry.
Singapore falls six places to 15th, but remains among the world’s most competitive and
business friendly economies. FDI inflows to Singapore in 2014 rose 27 percent to $81 billion.
Singapore welcomes foreign investment in all industries, and has identified life sciences as
a critical pillar of manufacturing, with continued state investments to spur sector growth.
The Economic Development Board’s “Home” strategy encourages companies to establish and
deepen strategic activities in Singapore to drive their business, innovation and talent objectives
in Asia and globally.
Revised estimates indicate that India’s
GDP grew faster than China’s last year,
and its consumer market remains signif-
icant, sparking broad investor interest.
Singapore’s sound legal framework, public policies, and strong reputation as a major hub for
MNCs continues to attract diverse investment across sectors. In May 2014, Alibaba (China)
announced its plan to acquire a stake in the Singapore Post for $249 million in a joint initiative to
develop an international e-commerce platform to serve Southeast Asia’s growing online shopping
market. In November 2014, China’s Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics (China) announced a $780
million offer to acquire STATS ChipPAC to develop its semiconductor business, as China becomes
a global leader in the production of smartphones. In May 2014, the U.S. private equity firm KKR
acquired Goodpack, a maker of containers and boxes for the chemicals, food, and rubber
industries, for $1.1 billion. In February 2015, Japanese freight mover Kintetsu World Express
announced plans to acquire logistics firm Neptune Orient Lines for $1.2 billion.
South Korea returns to the list this year at 16th, after missing the top 25 in 2014. The country’s
skilled workforce, high-tech economy, and strong growth in trade volume has led to a resur-
gence in FDI. Championing the concept of a “creative economy” that puts innovation and
entrepreneurship at the heart of economic growth, President Park Geun-hye has pursued efforts
to shift the growth model from manufacturing to innovation, with heavy investments in the
start-up scene and the founding of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.
South Korea attracts investment from all regions. In January 2014, Saudi Aramco, the world’s
largest crude exporter, agreed to buy a $2 billion stake in South Korea’s third largest oil refiner,
S-Oil Corp, from Hanjin Energy and its struggling parent company Korean Air Lines. That same
month, Anheuser-Busch InBev acquired Oriental Brewery for $5.8 billion, and a month later U.S.
private equity firm Carlyle Group purchased the fire and security services business of Tyco
International for $1.93 billion. In February 2015, the Chinese financial company Anbang Insurance
Group acquired Tonyang Life for $1 billion, part of Anbang’s international growth strategy.
20Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
Optimism Amid the Risks
Even as the world grapples with continuing risks, it is clear that global business leaders are
gaining optimism about the economy—with hopes the reviving U.S. market and China’s still-
strong growth can boost the global economy. And as the Index shows, many other countries
offer lucrative opportunities for foreign investors, as difficult conditions have ultimately led to
opportunities for deals.
The risks and opportunities of 2015 underscore the importance of understanding global FDI
trends and knowing where the opportunities lie.
Authors
Paul Laudicina, chairman emeritus of
A.T. Kearney and chairman of the Global
Business Policy Council, Washington, D.C.
paul.laudicina@atkearney.com
Erik Peterson, partner and managing
director of the Global Business Policy
Council, Washington, D.C.
erik.peterson@atkearney.com
About the Global Business Policy Council
A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council, established in 1992, is dedicated to helping business and government
leaders worldwide anticipate and plan for the future. Through strategic advisory services, regular publications, and
world-class global meetings, the Council is committed to engaging in thoughtful discussion and analysis of the
trends that shape business and government around the globe.
21Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
Appendix
About the Study
The 2015 A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index® is constructed using
primary data from a proprietary survey administered to senior executives of the world’s leading
corporations. Respondents include C-level executives and regional and business heads. The
participating companies represent 27 countries and span all sectors. To reflect the increasing
influence of developing markets in FDI, this year more than one-third of respondent companies
were headquartered in developing countries. The survey was conducted in January 2015.
The Index is calculated as a weighted average of the number of high, medium, and low
responses to questions of direct investment in a market over the next three years. Index values
are based on non-source-country responses. For example, the Index value for the United States
was calculated without responses from U.S.-headquartered investors. Higher Index values
indicate more attractive investment targets. The sample of countries included in the survey
accounts for approximately 90 percent of FDI inflows.
FDI flow figures are the latest statistics available from the United Nations Conference on Trade
and Development (UNCTAD), and all 2014 FDI figures quoted are estimates. Other secondary
sources include investment promotion agencies, central banks, ministries of finance and trade,
and other major data sources.
For past editions of the FDI Confidence Index, please go to:
www.atkearney.com/gbpc/foreign-direct-investment-confidence-index.
21Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
A.T. Kearney is a leading global management consulting firm with offices in more
than 40 countries. Since 1926, we have been trusted advisors to the world's foremost
organizations. A.T. Kearney is a partner-owned firm, committed to helping clients
achieve immediate impact and growing advantage on their most mission-critical
issues. For more information, visit www.atkearney.com.
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Washington, D.C.
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Beijing
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Kuala Lumpur
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Mumbai
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Singapore
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The signature of our namesake and founder, Andrew Thomas Kearney, on the cover
of this document represents our pledge to live the values he instilled in our firm and
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A.T. Kearney Korea LLC is a separate and independent legal entity operating under the A.T. Kearney name in Korea.
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Bip connected risks investing in a divergent world

  • 1. 1Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World The 2015 A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index® Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World Global business leaders are pursuing FDI growth strategies grounded in informed optimism.
  • 2. A.T. Kearney issued its first Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index® in June 1998, in the shadow of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Despite jitters following economic collapse in Southeast Asia, businesses saw investment opportunity in the Americas, Western Europe, Russia, and East Asia, and the United States took first place. Here we are in 2015, with the United States first place in the Index again and business execu- tives still tormented by a recent global financial crisis. Today’s investors must account for divergent monetary policies in large developed economies, alongside a surging U.S. dollar and a sustained commodity super-slump. Developed and developing markets alike are moving in unexpected ways. Yet, amid growing divergence and multiplying risks, there is genuine excitement in the global business community. It starts with the growing belief that the combined strength of the U.S. and Chinese economies—first and second in this year’s FDI Confidence Index—can buoy the world economy while others get back on track. And there is genuine dynamism elsewhere if you know where to look. Numerous countries are opening up long-guarded sectors to privatization and foreign investment. Downturns and fluctuations in other countries are creating opportunities for mergers and acquisitions. And new free-trade agreements are already in place or close at hand, even if the U.S. political environment will continue to frustrate its reliable engagement. Risk has been a constant since the inception of this Index. The challenge for all global business leaders remains how to think beyond the last crisis while seeking to avoid the next. Those that take a “wait and see” approach often find that their competitors—whether small businesses or country governments—do not hold back in seeking positive growth. Our view is that opportu- nities abound for those that know where to look, aided by strategic foresight and analysis. The world is more complicated now than it was in 1997. Global interconnectedness has created a more competitive and complex landscape. Technologies, ranging from unconventional energy extraction to predictive and even prescriptive analytics, are changing the game and increasing the probability of strategic disruption in every sector and corner of the world. The complexity of risk and opportunity in 2015 underscore the importance of the insights contained in this year’s FDI Confidence Index. As always, we welcome any input you may have regarding the Index, its scope and our analysis. Paul A. Laudicina Chairman, Global Business Policy Council Partner and Chairman Emeritus, A.T. Kearney
  • 3. 1Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World The Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, established in 1998 and now in its 15th edition, examines the overarching trends in FDI. The top 25 ranking is a forward-looking analysis of how political, economic, and regulatory changes will likely affect countries' FDI inflows in the coming years. Over its 17-year history, there has been a strong correlation between the rankings and global FDI flows. Since its inception, countries ranked in the Index have consistently received at least half of global FDI inflows roughly one year after the survey (see appendix: About the Study on page 21). As in past editions, this year’s Index offers valuable insights into how business leaders regard the medium-term economic outlook. Several major trends emerge from the findings (see figure 1): • Developed markets reign in the Index. Seven of the top 10 countries on the Index and nearly three-fourths of all countries ranked in the top 25 are developed markets, highlighting how investors are seeking safer ground for new opportunities. Interest in frontier (newly emerging) markets varies drastically by region. American investors are least interested in frontier markets, with 42 percent not invested or seeking to divest (see figure 2 on page 2). Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015 Figure 1 2015 FDI Confidence Index® ranking and scores Ranking United States China United Kingdom Canada Germany Brazil Japan France Mexico Australia India Italy Netherlands Switzerland Singapore South Korea Spain Sweden Belgium Denmark Austria Turkey Poland Norway Finland 2.10 2.00 1.95 1.94 1.89 1.87 1.80 1.80 1.79 1.79 1.79 1.75 1.74 1.74 1.73 1.72 1.71 1.71 1.70 1.69 1.69 1.69 1.68 1.68 1.67 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 1 2 4 3 6 5 19 10 12 8 7 20 22 14 9 – 18 16 21 23 – 24 – – – 1 2 8 4 7 3 13 12 9 6 5 – – 18 10 21 16 – – – – – 19 – – 201520142013 Values calculated on a 0 to 3 scale High confidenceLow confidence 0.00 1.00 2.500.50 2.001.50 Maintained ranking Moved up Moved down
  • 4. 2Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World • Europe sets an all-time record with 15 countries in the top 25. No region has ever dominated the top 25 of the Index like Europe in 2015. The continent’s 60 percent share of the rankings is a sharp rise from its 40 percent last year and roughly 30 percent in 2013. Third-ranked United Kingdom leads the way, continuing a three-year upward trend. Germany moves up to 5th, Italy jumps eight positions to 12th, and the Netherlands moves up nine positions to 13th. Austria (21st) makes its first appearance in the Index since 2002. Norway (24th) and Finland (25th) join the list for the first time ever, rounding out a strong Nordic showing, with Sweden 18th and Denmark 20th. Switzerland remains steady at 14th, while Spain (17th) and Belgium (19th) move up the list. Turkey moves up to 22nd and Poland (23rd) rejoins the list after a one-year absence. • The United States tops the Index for the third straight year. The United States’ lead over second-place China shrank from last year’s record-setting margin, but it still leads all countries when it comes to investors’ positive macroeconomic outlook. Forty-six percent of business executives say they are more optimistic about the U.S. economy’s outlook than they were a year ago, and only 10 percent say they are more pessimistic. Asia-headquartered companies are the most optimistic about the U.S. economy, with 44 percent predicting GDP growth above 3.6 percent over the next three years. International business executives even say that they are willing to overlook continued political gridlock in Washington, D.C. • China is second for the third straight year. Business executives are carefully watching China for economic growth of around 7 percent, and for signs of a successful transition to a consumption-led economy. If those indicators emerge, most executives say their companies would increase investment activity into China. Overall, countries in Asia Pacific have a mixed showing in the Index, with Japan rising to 7th (from 19th last year), and South Korea reentering the Index at 16th after going unranked last year. Australia (10th), India (11th), and Singapore (15th) fall in the rankings but maintain top 20 positions. • Business executives are optimistic about the Americas. Investors are more optimistic about the Americas than any other region, led by the United States but also including Canada (4th), Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015 Figure 2 Level of investor interest in frontier markets (% of respondents) Americas Europe Asia 30% 17% 10% Not currently invested, and not seeking investment opportunities 12% 16% 10% Currently invested, but seeking to divest 18% 23% 28% Not currently invested, but seeking new investment opportunities 23% 25% 31% Currently invested, and maintaining level of investment 17% 19% 21% Currently invested, and seeking new investment opportunities 30 40 20 10 0
  • 5. 3Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World Brazil (6th), and Mexico (9th). Fifty-one percent of respondents are more optimistic about economies in the Americas than last year and only 8 percent are more pessimistic. In contrast, investors are more pessimistic about the economies of both the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Sub-Saharan Africa, where no countries make this year’s rankings (see figure 3). • Global FDI flows hold steady, but still lag their pre-2009 peak. By next year, two-thirds of companies plan to return to pre-crisis FDI levels. The most important factor for investors in determining which countries to target remains market size, followed by a variety of regulatory factors affecting the ease of doing business and perceptions of the internal security environment. • Would-be investors still feel uncertain about the global environment. Macroeconomic uncertainty remains the most important single factor holding back FDI. Executives are evenly split about whether global economic fundamentals support higher growth now compared to before the crisis. Beyond the long tail of the Great Recession, rocky geopolitics in 2014 weighed on executives’ minds. Thirty-nine percent of respondents say an increase in geo- political tensions is possible in the next year; this is particularly a concern among American- and European-headquartered businesses. • Asian executives are eager to invest. Asian investors lead the charge with the strongest commitment to restoring pre-recession levels of FDI, a willingness to take greater risks, and pronounced interest in frontier markets. Seventy-one percent of Asian investors plan to return to pre-recession levels of FDI by next year, the highest level of any region. Asian business execu- tives are also most optimistic in their outlook about the likelihood of political and economic crises in developed and developing markets. Eight out of 10 Asian investors are interested in either maintaining, commencing, or increasing investments in frontier markets. Even regarding Russia, which is not ranked in this year’s Index, Asia-headquartered companies remain the most bullish on investing in the country in the medium term. Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015 Figure 3 The outlook for regional economies Compared to a year ago, how has your view on the regional economy changed? (% of respondents) More optimistic About the same More pessimistic 51% 41% 8% Americas 42% 49% 9% Asia Pacific 36% 44% 21% Europe 24% 50% 26% Middle East and North Africa 19% 52% 29% Sub-Saharan Africa 30 50 40 60 20 10 0
  • 6. 4Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World 2014 FDI Flows Relatively Steady, Still Not Recovered Looking back at 2014, global FDI inflows declined 8 percent to $1.26 trillion, according to esti- mates from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).1 Despite the relative stability, FDI levels remain at just two-thirds of the record levels reached in 2007. FDI flows to developed countries fell by 14 percent last year, while flows to developing countries increased by 4 percent to a new high of $700 billion, or 56 percent of the global share (see figure 4). Sources: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development; A.T. Kearney analysis Figure 4 World FDI inflows (2005–2014) ($ billion) 0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 20062005 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014e World Developing markets Developed markets Note: Transition economies include Southeast Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Georgia. Sources: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Figure 5 FDI inflows by region ($ billion) 2012 2013 2014e 414 427 492 Developing Asia 310 225 305 Europe 178 190 153 Latin America and Caribbean 213 302 139 North America 84 92 45 Transition economies 55 56 55 Africa 300 500 400 200 100 0 1 All monetary values are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted.
  • 7. 5Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World Regional estimates by UNCTAD indicate that Asia (excluding the western part of the continent) received the greatest FDI inflows, increasing 15 percent to $492 billion, with China (up 3 percent to $128 billion) the largest single FDI recipient. FDI inflows to the Americas fell by more than 50 percent to $139 billion, a drop largely caused by sizable divestments in the United States. In contrast, European countries saw an increase of 13 percent to $267 billion. Inflows to Latin America fell by 19 percent, and inflows to Africa decreased by 3 percent. Transition economies, including Russia, fell by more than 50 percent to $45 billion (see figure 5 on page 4). Data from Thomson Reuters’ 2014 M&A Financial Advisory Review show that global M&A had its largest increase since 2007, with more than 40,000 deals worth more than $3.5 trillion—a 47 percent increase from 2013. Large-cap deals of more than $5 billion almost doubled in volume with 95 deals announced in 2014. Media, healthcare, and energy were the most active sectors, while telecommunications was the only sector to see a decline, despite an uptick in European activity. Cross-border M&A totaled $1.3 trillion, a 78 percent increase from 2013, and accounting for 37 percent of the total M&A volume. Cautious Optimism Despite Risks and Low Growth As A.T. Kearney’s 2015-2020 Global Economic Outlook examines in depth, the world economy is in a period of growth with divergence. The divergence is all the more evident as the monetary policies of central banks in major economies from Washington to Beijing and Brussels part ways and currency values reach new highs and lows. Meanwhile, growth has reached what IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has called a “new mediocre,” with expected annual global GDP increases of only 3 to 4 percent. While the United States seems to be on solid footing again, Europe remains lackluster, Japan has fallen back into recession, and developing markets are showing wildly varying levels of growth. China is now targeting 7 percent annual growth, and adjustments within its economy have driven down worldwide commodity prices, leaving many investors wary of any further signs of slowdown. Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015 Figure 6 Compared to a year ago, how has your view on the global economy changed? (% of respondents) 2014 2015 18% 15% Much more optimistic 61% 46% Somewhat more optimistic 7% 5% No change 11% 27% Somewhat more pessimistic 2% 8% Much more pessimistic 30 50 40 60 70 20 10 0
  • 8. 6Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015 Figure 7 Is your outlook on this country more positive or negative than it was in 2014? United States Canada Germany China Australia India United Kingdom Brazil Japan Netherlands Switzerland Mexico Singapore Denmark Sweden Poland Belgium South Korea France Norway Spain Austria Italy Turkey Finland 4610 3510 13 17 11 12 14 17 18 13 14 19 13 12 14 15 15 16 19 14 18 14 20 20 14 33 31 28 28 28 28 28 27 27 27 26 25 25 25 25 25 25 24 24 22 22 22 21 50403020100102030 (% of respondents) More positive More negative Despite these realities, most business executives are optimistic. Sixty percent of respondents say they are more optimistic about the global economy than they were a year ago—notably down from the 79 percent who held the same view last year, but still reflective of a more grounded optimism (see figure 6 on page 5). Investors are most enthusiastic about the prospects for the United States, Canada, and Germany in the year ahead (see figure 7). On the question of whether the fundamentals of the global economy today support significantly or moderately higher levels of growth than prior to the crisis, investors are split down the middle (see figure 8). Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015 Figure 8 How have the fundamentals of the global economy changed since the 2008 crisis? (% of respondents) Significantly higher level of growth Moderately higher level of growth No change Moderately lower level of growth Significantly lower level of growth 30 40 20 10 0 35 3 37 10 15
  • 9. 7Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015 Figure 9 When will your company’s FDI return to its pre-crisis level? (% of respondents) It already has Withina year 2016 2017 2018 or later 30 20 10 0 17 29 1819 17 Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015 Figure 10 If your company’s FDI hasn’t recovered, why not? (% of respondents) Macroeconomic uncertainty Lower risk tolerance Regulatory uncertainty Higher reserve requirements Lack of quality targets 30 40 20 10 0 23 26 31 42 21 Lack of funds 17 Macroeconomic uncertainty is the most common reason companies have not yet returned to pre-crisis FDI levels. Business executives have continued to postpone a return to pre-crisis investment levels (see figure 9). In the 2014 Index, 85 percent of respondents expected to restore FDI to pre-crisis levels by 2016; in 2015, 66 percent say they will reach those levels by 2016. When asked why FDI levels have not recovered, respondents say that macroeconomic uncer- tainty remains the most important factor, followed by a lower risk tolerance. With discounted prices and sufficient funds available, however, companies are equipped to invest if they can navigate the spectrum of risk (see figure 10). In identifying markets for FDI, executives continue to prioritize market size, followed by a variety of regulatory factors affecting the ease of doing business and the overall security environment (see figure 11 on page 8).
  • 10. 8Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World Note: Respondents selected three factors. Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015 Figure 11 What are the most important factors to your company when choosing where to make foreign investments? Domestic market size Transparency of government regulations and lack of corruption Tax rates and ease of tax payment General security environment Cost of labor Efficiency of legal and regulatory processes Government incentives for investors Talent and skill level of labor pool Ease of moving capital into and out of country Availability of financial capital in domestic market Strength of investor and property rights Quality of transportation infrastructure Availability of raw materials and other inputs Country’s participation in regional and bilateral trade agreements Quality of telecommunications infrastructure Quality of electricity infrastructure Availability of land and real estate 25% 22% 22% 21% 20% 20% 18% 17% 17% 15% 15% 11% 11% 11% 10% 8% 8% 3020100 (% of respondents) Availability of inputs Labor Infrastructure Financial and legal environment Government regulations Security Market size Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015 Figure 12 Which wild cards are more likely to occur in the next year? (% of respondents) Americas Europe Asia 45%44% 24% Increasein geopolitical tensions 35%35% 25% Political instability in an emerging market 29% 25% 31% Economic crisis in an emerging market 27%26% 29% Economic crisis in a developed market 26%25% 22% Political instability in a developed market 20% 18% 19% More restrictive business regulatory environ- ment in a developed market 18% 10% 25% More restrictive business regulatory environ- ment in an emerging market 16% 11% 15% Decreasein geopolitical tensions 30 40 50 20 10 0
  • 11. 9Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World Geopolitical Uncertainty Colors Future Outlook The geopolitical rollercoaster of 2014 appears to have weighed on the minds of business execu- tives as they ponder the future outlook. Thirty-nine percent of respondents—and particularly those headquartered in the Americas or Europe—cite an increase in geopolitical tensions as possible in the next year. Investors are also concerned about political instability in developing markets, as well as economic crises in both developing and developed markets (see figure 12 on page 8). The notable absences of Russia, the Middle East, and Africa from this year’s Index owe at least in some measure to geopolitical quakes in those regions, from the Ukraine crisis and resulting sanctions to the advance of extremist groups in Iraq and Syria to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Technology Cuts Both Ways; Cybersecurity Concerns Dominate Business executives view technology as a double-edged sword. The investors we surveyed identify big data and predictive analytics, mobile technology, and cloud computing as the biggest technology opportunities, yet those advances as well as many others are also perceived as major challenges by almost as many investors (see figure 13). And while two-thirds of execu- tives believe that consumer data has simplified their companies’ decision-making on operations and strategy, they are split on whether consumer data-informed strategy has in fact yielded better results for them. Two out of three business executives surveyed say they are moderately or significantly worried about cyberattack, unsurprising in a year marked by high-profile hacking against major companies. Forty-five percent say that their firms have already been targeted by cyberattack, with 12 percent admitting to a past cyber breech and 33 percent believing that their defenses were successful (see figure 14 on page 10). Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015 Figure 13 Which technological advances does your company view as the biggest opportunity or challenge? Big data and predictive analytics Mobile technology Cloud computing Cybersecurity technology Nanotechnology Automation and robotics Biotechnology Internet of Things Social networking technology Artificial intelligence 28 3127 23 34 23 19 21 22 19 24 28 31 26 25 25 22 21 21 18 40302010010203040 (% of respondents) Opportunity Challenge
  • 12. 10Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World Source: A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index®, 2015 Figure 14 What is your company’s experience with cybersecurity and cyberattacks? (% of respondents) Have not been a target, have strong defenses Have not been a target, have some defenses Have been target, defenses successful Breached by attack, have increased defenses Breached by attack, have not increased defenses 30 40 20 10 0 5 33 18 38 7 Regional Findings and Context Americas The United States leads the Index for the third year in a row, and North America makes a strong showing with Canada and Mexico also in the top 10. In South America, Brazil is the only ranked country. The economy of the United States seems to have entered a period of steady recovery more than six years since it suffered its largest financial crisis since 1929. FDI inflows to the United States in 2014 fell by two-thirds to $86 billion, however this was due in large measure to Verizon’s $130 billion mega-buyback of shares from UK-based Vodafone, which created a large outflow. In 2014, FDI inflows in manufacturing increased by 25 percent, with more than half of all investment in manufacturing geared toward chemicals. The United States is aggressively courting foreign investors through its SelectUSA program, which is engaged in an outreach campaign to raise awareness among foreign business investors regarding opportunities in the United States, better cataloging existing U.S. grants, loans, loan guarantees, and highlighting tax incentives for foreign investors. Although outflows from China increased in recent years, Chinese investment in the United States was a mere $1.0 billion in 2014, a 60 percent decrease from 2013 levels. On the other hand, Japan was for the second straight year the largest source of FDI inflows to the United States, with more than $45 billion of new investments. In the largest Japanese deal of the year, Suntory Holdings acquired Beam Inc. for $16 billion in April 2014 to create the world’s third-largest high-end spirits maker. The deal worked off its plans to expand its overseas operations in the face of an aging population at home. In June 2014, Dai-ichi Life Insurance announced its $5.7 billion acquisition of Protective Life, and in December, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals announced the acquisition of Avanir Pharmaceuticals, a developer of treatments for neurological diseases, for $3.5 billion. The pharmaceutical and healthcare industry has been extremely active. Other significant acquisitions include Germany-based Bayer’s purchase of Merck and Co. for $14.2 billion, Swiss firm Roche Holding’s acquisition of InterMune for $8.3 billion, and German giant Merck KGaA’s
  • 13. 11Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World purchase of Sigman-Aldrich for $17 billion. Actavis, headquartered in Ireland, took part in two of the biggest deals of the year—its $70.5 billion acquisition of Allergan and its $28 billion purchase of Forest Laboratories. In January 2014, Italian automaker Fiat completed its acquisition of Chrysler for $4.35 billion. Following Chrysler’s announcement of bankruptcy in 2009, Fiat had already shared ownership with the United Automobile Workers union; the acquisition gave Fiat full ownership and further expanded its global presence. Canada’s 4th place ranking is unsurprising, given that it attracted an estimated $53 billion in 2014 FDI inflows. A number of trade agreements signed in 2014 are likely to further improve Canada’s FDI stock in years ahead. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the EU signed in 2014 will provide Canadian investors with access to the EU. In addition, the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) came into effect in October 2014 and will increase investment opportunities between the two countries. Despite sluggish economic growth, investors are still attracted to Brazil‘s large domestic market, growing middle class, and natural resource base. With the lowest marginal effective tax rate among G7 countries, Canada continues to attract international investments seeking lower rates. In February 2015, UK-based Mylan N.V. completed the acquisition of Abbott Laboratories’ non-U.S. developed market drugs business for $5.7 billion, following efforts to optimize its global tax structure and achieve greater financial flexibility. In December 2014, U.S.-based Burger King acquired Tim Hortons, the fast casual restaurant chain, for $11 billion. Aligned with expectations for a growing number of mergers in the oil and gas industry due to low prices, Spain’s Repsol agreed to acquire Talisman Energy for $8.3 billion. The deal is expected to increase Repsol’s oil and gas output by more than 75 percent, transforming it into a signif- icant global player. Brazil maintained its spot as the largest FDI recipient in Latin America in 2014 with inflows of $62 billion, and looking to the future, it comes in 6th in the Index. Despite sluggish economic growth, investors are still attracted by the country’s large domestic market, growing middle class, and natural resource base. Many foreign companies are looking for opportunities to reach Brazil’s growing middle class consumers. In April 2014, Banco Santander of Spain agreed to acquire the remaining portion of its Brazil unit for $6.5 billion. In March 2015, British American Tobacco offered $3.5 billion for the remaining stake in the country’s largest cigarette maker, Souza Cruz. Mexico gained three spots to reach 9th, as President Peña Nieto’s reform agenda continues to improve Mexico’s business climate. Its 2013 FDI levels of $38 billion were an all-time high, with the majority of investment targeted at Mexico’s growing manufacturing sector, including high-value-added electronics. Mexico’s Economy Ministry has reported that flows fell to $22.6
  • 14. 12Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World billion in 2014, with inflows of $33.9 billion offset by $11.4 billion in outflows. Significant reforms in the energy sector will occur this year to allow foreign private investment. As a result of the telecom reforms that targeted Carlos Slim’s América Móvil, which controls 70 percent of the market, customer prices fell nearly 17 percent between February 2013 and January 2015. In response to the policy changes, AT&T made a $5 billion divestment in América Móvil and subsequently acquired Grupo Iusacell SA, Mexico’s third largest wireless operator, for $1.7 billion. Going forward, these reforms are expected to open up growth opportunities for smaller competitors. In November 2014, the American chemicals maker PPG Industries acquired paints maker Consorcio Comex for $2.3 billion. This followed the rejection by the Mexican federal compe- tition authority of the sale to Sherwin-Williams for a proposed $2.34 billion on the grounds that it would create unfair market conditions. Europe Europe has seen unprecedented interest from business executives this year despite its lagging economy. Several considerations are likely at play. First, Europe offers safe harbor in an increas- ingly volatile global economic environment. Even as negotiations regarding Greek debt continue, developments in Europe suggest fewer unwelcome surprises this year. Second, investors are also likely heartened by the European Central Bank’s long overdue decision to move from austerity to stimulus through quantitative easing. Early 2015 economic data suggests that this may be the spark that awakens parts of Europe’s lagging economy. And third, there remain more opportu- nities for foreign investors to come to the table with needed capital. Despite the region’s flat economic growth, FDI increased 13 percent in 2014 to reach $305 billion. Driving this FDI was a series of M&A megadeals consolidating the telecom industry. These deals were backed by the European Commission (EC), which announced it is encouraging the 100 operators across Europe to consolidate and increase infrastructure investment while continuing to ensure that there is sufficient competition for consumers. As part of its 2015 agenda, the EC has also prioritized forming a single digital communications market to promote growth. The United Kingdom continued its ascent in the rankings, and the third place ranking is its highest since 2002. In addition to breathing a sigh of relief after Scottish voters rejected a measure for full independence, the UK’s economic recovery and strong employment growth compared to the rest of the eurozone made it Europe’s top destination for FDI in 2014, with $37.1 billion in net inflows. It was also the top destination for Chinese investors, with an estimated $5.1 billion in new investments. More investment may come in the wake of multiyear tax reform initiated in 2007, which will by April 2015 reach a reduction of 20 percent—one of Europe’s most competitive rates. London’s famously expensive real estate sector is a particular source of FDI interest. The early 2015 acquisition of Songbird Estates, which owns east London’s Canary Wharf Financial District, is one of the biggest real estate deals in UK history for $4 billion. The sale to the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Canada’s Brookfield Property Partners includes plans to aggressively develop the 30 acres of vacant land for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis. This deal followed the July 2014 deal by QIA and China Life Insurance to acquire another office building in Canary Wharf for $1.35 billion. Developing market investors are also interested in UK-based food companies. In November 2014, United Biscuits was acquired for an estimated $3.2 billion by Turkey’s Yildiz, creating the
  • 15. 13Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World world’s third largest biscuit maker and providing access to British markets. In one of the largest restaurant deals, Hony Capital of China acquired PizzaExpress for $1.54 billion, with plans to expand the restaurant into Asia for future growth. In the financial sector, Canada-based Fairfax Financial Holding’s announcement that it will acquire Brit Plc for $1.88 billion was one of several significant undertakings by financial companies seeking to diversify their portfolios and expand their global reach. The worldwide trend of telecom FDI activity also occurred in the United Kingdom. In March 2015, the Hong Kong group Hutchinson Whampoa finalized an agreement to purchase O2 UK for $15.2 billion, with plans to merge the company with its existing British mobile group, Three, and create the second-largest operator with more than 31 million users. This follows the sale of EE, the UK’s largest mobile group, to British operator BT for $19 billion, from Deutsche Telekom and France’s Orange. If approved by regulators, this will reduce the number of mobile networks in the UK from four to three. Francehastakenstepstodrawinvestors by boosting tax incentives, simplifying procedures, and easing restrictions. Germany (5th) has remained a source of stability and sound economics throughout the eurozone crisis. In 2013, Germany received $26.7 billion in inflows, but 2014 figures are estimated to be net negative inflows of minus-$2.1 billion, primarily due to changes in the flow of intracompany loans. Nonetheless, with more than 60 percent of its exports directed outside the eurozone, the ongoing devaluation of the euro, the positive effects of ECB quantitative easing, and stronger demand from the rest of Europe are expected to boost exports. In September, British Sky Broadcasting acquired Sky Deutschland, the German broadcaster, from 21st Century Fox for $4.7 billion. The oil and gas unit of the German utility company, RWE Dea, also completed its contentious $6.3 billion sale to LetterOne, which is based in Luxembourg and owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman. The UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change had objected to the deal under concerns of future sanctions against LetterOne. France continues to move up, gaining two spots to 8th. With the world’s fifth largest economy, the government continues to take steps to make the country more attractive to foreign investors, including tax incentives, simplified administrative procedures, and eased restrictions on investment activities. France gained 10 spots to take 61st in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index’s sub-category of labor market efficiency, showing the positive effect of its efforts for labor market reforms on a tough challenge. As part of the National Pact for Growth, the competiveness and employment tax credit aims to boost investment by reducing labor costs by 6 percent in 2015, amounting to €20 billion in annual savings for companies. While FDI inflows in 2014 are estimated to be negative due to the repayment of intra-company loans and Nestlé’s $9 billion divestment of L’Oréal, the number of foreign investments increased by 8 percent to more than 1,000 projects. These investments targeted high-value-added activ- ities, with production comprising 30 percent of investments and R&D contributing to 9 percent of investments.
  • 16. 14Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World This year has been off to a promising start on the basis of high-value deals. The announced merger of Lafarge with Switzerland’s Holcim, worth $44 billion, will create the world’s largest cement company. And GE’s acquisition of Alstom’s energy business for more than $13.5 billion, pending approval from the European Commission, has gained the support of the French government after revisions to the deal that keep some elements of Alstom’s power and grid business in French hands. Asian investors are showing strong interest in France. In January 2015, Chinese conglomerate Fosun International successfully acquired the resort operator Club Méditerranée for $1.12 billion, after an ongoing battle with Bonomi of Italy. The final deal was valued at 45 percent above the original offer. SA Peugeot Citroën received $1.1 billion from China’s Dongfeng for a stake in one of the world’s oldest car makers, increasing its access to capital and developing ties with China’s automotive industry. Mahindra Two Wheelers of India acquired a controlling stake in Peugeot Motorcycles. Italy gained eight spots, rising to 12th in this year’s Index. Despite weak economic growth in 2014, the country continued to attract high levels of investment. In the face of a mounting unemployment crisis, the government worked to pass controversial labor market reforms under the Jobs Act that ease firing restrictions and address Italy’s rigid labor market. Italian acquisitions come at a time when recession and increased competition from abroad have caused falling profitability. The household appliance company Indesit was acquired by U.S-based Whirlpool for a little more than $1 billion; Whirlpool gained access to European markets. And the announced sale of a 49 percent stake in Alitalia to Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airlines shored up the embattled carrier, which aims to return to profitability by 2018 by cutting the number of aircraft and flights. Italy is aggressively targeting Chinese business investors. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi visited Beijing in June 2014 to encourage foreign investment. Efforts such as the website vendereaicinesi.it, which translates as “sell to the Chinese,” aim to facilitate the purchase of Italian companies. More than 200 Italian businesses are now controlled by Chinese owners. Most recently, China National Chemical announced plans to acquire Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli & C. for $7.7 billion in what would be one of the largest acquisitions by a Chinese state firm. The Netherlands (13th) climbs nine spots, and received $42 billion in FDI inflows in 2014, a steady rise from its 2013 level of $24.4 billion and 2012 level of $9.7 billion. Efforts to increase foreign investment under the brand “Invest in Holland” target chemicals, agrifood, high-tech systems, life sciences and health, and information technology. International start-ups are also targeted under the program StartupDelta, which seeks to build Europe’s best connected and largest startup ecosystem. The United States has been the largest investor, launching 65 projects in 2014, including expan- sions by Expedia and Netflix. Google announced plans to build a data center in 2016, investing $773 million in the Netherlands’ technology sector. There is also movement in telecom and real estate. In January 2014, Liberty Global of the United Kingdom acquired Dutch cable operator Ziggo for $12.7 billion, adding 2.7 million cable customers to its existing Dutch unit, UPC, and creating a business that reaches 90 percent of Dutch homes. In July 2014, Klépierre, the French real estate investment company, announced plans to acquire Corio, its Dutch rival, for $9.7 billion to create the largest owner of retail shopping centers in Europe.
  • 17. 15Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World Switzerland remains in 14th on the Index as investors continue to recognize its world-class infrastructure and competitive business environment. In 2013, Switzerland had negative net inflows of minus-$5.2 billion after recording positive inflows of $10.2 billion in 2012. The January 2015 decision to remove the Swiss franc’s ceiling against the Euro brought dramatic appre- ciation in the currency, affecting Swiss exports and creating deflationary pressures. In 2014, the country’s pharmaceutical giants were involved in multiple international strategic deals. Novartis undertook a multibillion-dollar asset swap to focus on better growing its core area and exiting weaker ones. This included the $5.4 billion sale of its animal health business to the U.S.’s Eli Lilly and the $7.1 billion sale of its non-influenza vaccine business to the UK’s GlaxoSmithKline. In exchange, Novartis purchased GSK’s $16 billion portfolio of cancer drugs, and the two companies entered into a new consumer healthcare joint venture. In the largest FDI inflow of the year, Walgreens, the U.S. drugstore giant, followed up on its 2012 purchase of 45 percent of Alliance Boots by acquiring the remaining 55 percent for $16 billion. Walgreens now has full ownership as well as a strong European presence. Switzerland maintains a strong position in the Index as investors are still drawn to its world-class infrastructure and compet- itive business environment. Spain, in 17th place, has seen an upward trend in FDI in recent years as it pulls away from the economic brink. In the face of a national debt crisis, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has success- fully pursued efforts to attract investors, including 2012 labor market reforms and 2015 tax reforms that will gradually reduce the corporate income tax from 30 to 25 percent by 2016. Though unemployment remains above 20 percent, growth forecasts for Spain are promising, with the weak euro supporting exports, and low oil prices offering a financial boost. Vodafone purchased cable operator Grupo Corporativo Ono for $10 billion in efforts to offer bundled services and strengthen its competition in the Spanish market. The $3.62 billion merger of Jazztel, the Spanish broadband and cellphone operator, with France’s Orange is under review for an antitrust probe by the European Union, as regulators are concerned that the merger will drive up consumer prices in Spain. The outcome will affect the rapidly consolidating telecom sector across Europe. In July 2014, the drug maker Almirall was acquired by the UK’s AstraZeneca for $2.1 billion, to gain control of its respiratory drugs. And the European private equity firm Cinven acquired Gas Natural Fenosa, the fiber-optic network operator in Spain and Latin America, for $697 million. Sweden (18th) is ranked for the second straight year on the strength of its business environment, one of the lowest corporate tax systems in Europe, and world-class infrastructure for research, which attracts investors in energy, telecom, public transport, information technology, and healthcare. Microsoft agreed to acquire Swedish video game developer Mojang (creator of the block- buster hit Minecraft) for $2.5 billion with the aim to bolster the company’s mobile efforts.
  • 18. 16Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World The $9.1 billion takeover of Scania AB by Germany’s Volkswagen gave the largest European auto company full control over the Swedish truck maker as it plans to fully integrate it with its own truck making affiliate, MAN. Belgium gains two spots to 19th on the Index. Its strategic geographic location at the cross- roads of Europe and strong logistics, infrastructure, transportation, and communication make it a logical destination for European platform investment. In September 2014, Clear2Pay, the global payments provider, was acquired by U.S.-based Fidelity National Information Services for $493 million. In November 2014, Perrigo of the United States agreed to purchase Omega Pharma NV for $4.5 billion. The deal expands Perrigo’s presence in Europe and places it among the world’s five largest providers of over-the-counter drugs. Denmark gains three spots to take 20th. Notably, Denmark boasts the highest ranking in Europe in the Ease of Doing Business report. In 2014, the government unveiled its second growth plan in two years, further cutting costs for companies to encourage job creation and production. As a leader in clean technology and life sciences, Denmark is aiming to be the first fossil-fuel-free country in 2050; it is on track for this goal, with 39 percent of its electricity needs in 2014 met with wind energy. In early 2015, Apple announced its plan to establish one of the world’s largest data centers in Denmark, a facility that will rely fully on renewable energy. Furthering Denmark’s high-tech sector, Hitachi of Japan has established a big data research laboratory. Denmark’s strong biotech industry is closely connected with university research, giving it inter- national attention and attracting investors. Santaris Pharma started off as part of a university research project and cooperated with many large pharma companies before being acquired by Switzerland’s Roche for $250 million. Austria returns to the Index after a 13-year absence and takes 21st. The Austrian economy is dominated by small- and medium-sized enterprises, which have promoted an entrepreneurial private sector. In December 2014, Roche agreed to the $489 million purchase of biotech company Dutalys, a specialist in the discovery and development of antibody-based drugs. Telekom Austria was targeted by América Móvil for expansionary efforts in Europe; the Mexican firm was forced to seek new markets in response to new regulations in Mexico designed to increase competition. Turkey gains two spots to 22nd on the Index. Turkey’s government will host this year’s G20 and B20 summits in Antalya, at which it plans to emphasize implementation of a shared agenda to realize global economic growth objectives. It also has its own ambitious growth agenda, having prioritized eight key sectors and established plans for investments in infrastructure as part of its goal to become a top 10 economy by 2023, the 100th anniversary of the founding of its modern republic. To meet those objectives in an increasingly competitive global environment, and to compen- sate for its relatively low domestic savings rate, Turkey will need to continue to push forward with business reforms that attract greater and more diversified FDI targeting higher value- added industries. As a platform to serve both Europe and the Middle East and boasting the 16th largest domestic market in the world, Turkey has untapped investment potential. In 2014, FDI inflows fell slightly to $12.2 billion, with investment to the financial sector falling by over 50 percent. However, there was an increase to the wholesale and retail sectors, particu- larly from European investors, with Middle Eastern investors also showing new interest. Poland (23rd) returns to the Index after an absence in 2014. With a strategic location, large population, and economic stability, the country attracts investments in R&D, machinery,
  • 19. 17Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World business process outsourcing, biotech, and IT. Poland stands to gain significantly from its eco- nomic interconnectedness with Germany and the ECB’s quantitative easing, while its independent currency outside of the eurozone will allow the economy to adjust and retain its competitive position. Poland is also likely to benefit from substantial planned improvements of its transpor- tation infrastructure, including road, rail, and seaports. Between 2014 and 2021, Poland will be the largest recipient of EU structural funds (more than $100 billion) further stimulating invest- ments in infrastructure and new production capacity, increasing productivity and attracting FDI. Norway makes its first appearance on the Index in 24th place. Despite a small market size, its strong natural resource base and highly educated workforce have contributed to developments in high-growth sectors such as renewable energy and ICT. Higher tax deductions for R&D under the SkatteFUNN Tax Incentive Scheme raised the basis for tax reductions and doubled the maximum ceiling. Sweden remains the most significant investor in Norway. The Swedish telecom group TeliaSonera plans to acquire Tele2, a Norwegian telecom company, for $740 million. Asian countries continue to attract a growing share of world FDI inflows, and this trend will continue as domestic consumer markets continue to grow in coming years. Finland (25th) also debuts in the Index, capping off the strong presence of Nordic countries. Driven by its superb levels of innovation and exceptional performance in higher education, Finland ranked fourth in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index. With one of the highest rates of R&D spending per capita, cooperation between universities and the private sector have allowed businesses to benefit from the latest research. In April 2014, Microsoft completed its acquisition of Nokia’s phone business and licensed patents for $7.2 billion in efforts to revive the once global leader in mobile phones (which more than a decade ago was valued at $200 billion). Asia Pacific Asian countries continue to attract a growing share of world FDI inflows, and this trend will continue as domestic consumer markets continue to grow. In coming years, a finalized Trans- Pacific Partnership could unlock new trade opportunities between the Americas and Asia Pacific, while the launch of the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will create an alternative source of development capital for the region’s developing markets. China, second in the Index for the third year in a row, saw a 3 percent increase in FDI in 2014 and had the highest level of global FDI inflows for the first time. FDI was targeted mainly at the service sector, which has opened up thanks to ongoing reforms. In November 2014, China’s National Development and Reform Commission released a new draft investment catalog that reduced the number of sectors where foreign industries are prohibited (from 79 to 38), creating new opportunities in logistics, e-commerce, transportation, and finance.
  • 20. 18Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World Recent reforms and the increasing pressures of globalization (particularly the need to improve efficiency to address the growing cost of labor in China) contributed to the success of recent deals struck between major corporations and Chinese state-run companies. In January 2015, one of China’s largest state-owned conglomerates, Citic, sold a 20 percent stake to Japan’s Itochu and Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group for more than $10 billion. In efforts to use China’s semiconductor business as a way to improve its position in the fast- moving mobile device sector, U.S.-based Intel announced plans to purchase a stake in Spreadtrum Communications for $1.5 billion. The deal includes an agreement for close collabo- ration to create Intel-based chips with models and wireless capability in efforts aimed at users in developing markets. While China has succeeded in attracting FDI inflows over the past ten years, it also is rapidly increasing its global FDI outflows, particularly to Europe. In 2014, outbound FDI flows exceeded $100 billion, nearly quadruple the $26 billion from 2007. The acquisition of Western brands has allowed Chinese firms to compete more effectively with Western firms globally. Japan’s 12-spot rise to 7th place moves it into its highest position since 2004. This may be evidence that the third arrow of the Shinzō Abe administration’s growth strategy, unveiled just this past year, has increased confidence in the economy among investors. In addition to numerous measures meant to combat key demographic concerns for investors, the strategy also introduces steps such as improving corporate governance and enhancing labor mobility, which are intended to double Japan’s FDI stock to 35 trillion yen (about $300 billion) by 2020. The depreciation of the yen has made Japan’s real estate market especially attractive to inter- national investors. In October 2014, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC Private Limited, paid $1.7 billion for commercial real estate in one of the most desirable locations in Tokyo. The following month, U.S.-based Blackstone announced plans to acquire General Electric’s residential property business in Japan for $1.6 billion. In February 2015, Meguro Gajoen Complex in Tokyo was acquired for $1.2 billion by a joint venture between U.S.-based LaSalle Investment and China Investment Corporation. Tenth-ranked Australia remains a top global destination for FDI, having attracted $50 billion in FDI inflows in 2014. Australia recently completed negotiations for three landmark trade agreements with China, South Korea, and Japan, which bodes well for its FDI outlook in the coming year. The bilateral trade deal with China eliminates many tariffs on Australian exports and allows Chinese investors to make a single investment of $950 million without review by regulators. Hong Kong-based conglomerate Cheung Kong’s takeover of Envestra, an Australian gas pipeline firm, for $2.4 billion late in 2014 could be a sign of deepening of investment relations ahead. The trade deals with Korea and Japan should also boost investment flows between these nations. In February 2015, Japan Post acquired Toll Holdings, the Australian package delivery company, for $5.1 billion, with aims to build one of the world’s top five logistics companies. India falls four spots to 11th, losing its top 10 position for the first time since 2002. Still, FDI inflows increased to $35 billion in 2014, a 26 percent increase from the previous year. As part of plans to boost economic growth and modernize the bureaucracy, Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s new government launched the “Make in India” initiative in September 2014, aiming to improve the ease of doing business in India, and remove or relax foreign equity caps in several areas.
  • 21. 19Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World Revised estimates indicate that India’s GDP grew faster than China’s last year, and its consumer market remains significant, sparking broad investor interest. In April 2014, UK-based Diageo doubled its stake in United Spirits Ltd, India’s largest spirits company, for $1.9 billion. Vodafone bought full control of its Indian unit for $1.5 billion, the first foreign carrier to gain full ownership since the government removed the 74 percent cap on outside ownership in the telecom industry. Singapore falls six places to 15th, but remains among the world’s most competitive and business friendly economies. FDI inflows to Singapore in 2014 rose 27 percent to $81 billion. Singapore welcomes foreign investment in all industries, and has identified life sciences as a critical pillar of manufacturing, with continued state investments to spur sector growth. The Economic Development Board’s “Home” strategy encourages companies to establish and deepen strategic activities in Singapore to drive their business, innovation and talent objectives in Asia and globally. Revised estimates indicate that India’s GDP grew faster than China’s last year, and its consumer market remains signif- icant, sparking broad investor interest. Singapore’s sound legal framework, public policies, and strong reputation as a major hub for MNCs continues to attract diverse investment across sectors. In May 2014, Alibaba (China) announced its plan to acquire a stake in the Singapore Post for $249 million in a joint initiative to develop an international e-commerce platform to serve Southeast Asia’s growing online shopping market. In November 2014, China’s Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics (China) announced a $780 million offer to acquire STATS ChipPAC to develop its semiconductor business, as China becomes a global leader in the production of smartphones. In May 2014, the U.S. private equity firm KKR acquired Goodpack, a maker of containers and boxes for the chemicals, food, and rubber industries, for $1.1 billion. In February 2015, Japanese freight mover Kintetsu World Express announced plans to acquire logistics firm Neptune Orient Lines for $1.2 billion. South Korea returns to the list this year at 16th, after missing the top 25 in 2014. The country’s skilled workforce, high-tech economy, and strong growth in trade volume has led to a resur- gence in FDI. Championing the concept of a “creative economy” that puts innovation and entrepreneurship at the heart of economic growth, President Park Geun-hye has pursued efforts to shift the growth model from manufacturing to innovation, with heavy investments in the start-up scene and the founding of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning. South Korea attracts investment from all regions. In January 2014, Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest crude exporter, agreed to buy a $2 billion stake in South Korea’s third largest oil refiner, S-Oil Corp, from Hanjin Energy and its struggling parent company Korean Air Lines. That same month, Anheuser-Busch InBev acquired Oriental Brewery for $5.8 billion, and a month later U.S. private equity firm Carlyle Group purchased the fire and security services business of Tyco International for $1.93 billion. In February 2015, the Chinese financial company Anbang Insurance Group acquired Tonyang Life for $1 billion, part of Anbang’s international growth strategy.
  • 22. 20Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World Optimism Amid the Risks Even as the world grapples with continuing risks, it is clear that global business leaders are gaining optimism about the economy—with hopes the reviving U.S. market and China’s still- strong growth can boost the global economy. And as the Index shows, many other countries offer lucrative opportunities for foreign investors, as difficult conditions have ultimately led to opportunities for deals. The risks and opportunities of 2015 underscore the importance of understanding global FDI trends and knowing where the opportunities lie. Authors Paul Laudicina, chairman emeritus of A.T. Kearney and chairman of the Global Business Policy Council, Washington, D.C. paul.laudicina@atkearney.com Erik Peterson, partner and managing director of the Global Business Policy Council, Washington, D.C. erik.peterson@atkearney.com About the Global Business Policy Council A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council, established in 1992, is dedicated to helping business and government leaders worldwide anticipate and plan for the future. Through strategic advisory services, regular publications, and world-class global meetings, the Council is committed to engaging in thoughtful discussion and analysis of the trends that shape business and government around the globe.
  • 23. 21Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World Appendix About the Study The 2015 A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index® is constructed using primary data from a proprietary survey administered to senior executives of the world’s leading corporations. Respondents include C-level executives and regional and business heads. The participating companies represent 27 countries and span all sectors. To reflect the increasing influence of developing markets in FDI, this year more than one-third of respondent companies were headquartered in developing countries. The survey was conducted in January 2015. The Index is calculated as a weighted average of the number of high, medium, and low responses to questions of direct investment in a market over the next three years. Index values are based on non-source-country responses. For example, the Index value for the United States was calculated without responses from U.S.-headquartered investors. Higher Index values indicate more attractive investment targets. The sample of countries included in the survey accounts for approximately 90 percent of FDI inflows. FDI flow figures are the latest statistics available from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and all 2014 FDI figures quoted are estimates. Other secondary sources include investment promotion agencies, central banks, ministries of finance and trade, and other major data sources. For past editions of the FDI Confidence Index, please go to: www.atkearney.com/gbpc/foreign-direct-investment-confidence-index. 21Connected Risks: Investing in a Divergent World
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