Twenty-two countries are more attractive places for foreign direct investment than the United States, according to the Milken Institute’s Global Opportunity Index. The United States’ score in the index has fallen 9.35 percent since 2007, largely because of expanding public debt and tightening regulatory barriers, say the authors of the report. The Global Opportunity Index is composed of 67 variables that measures such things as trade openness, economic performance, restrictions on capital flows and bank ownership, tax and regulatory burdens, the costs of crime, the presence of corruption, and the strength of legal protections for property rights. The authors say the index explains 65 percent of the variation in foreign direct investment levels between countries.
As in The Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, Hong Kong and Singapore rank first and second in the Global Opportunity Index. Australia, Switzerland, Denmark, and Canada are also in the top ten of both indices. The United States, which has slipped in the Index of Economic Freedom but remains in the top ten (10th), comes in 23rd in the Global Opportunity Index.