Pretoria — South Africa has been ranked as the 18th most attractive foreign direct investment destination worldwide.
This comes from the latest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index by global management consulting firm AT Kearney.
This year sees South Africa and the Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar making their debuts in the index's top 25 FDI destinations, while Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia are making a return, reports Southafrica.info.
China and India continue to rank first and second in the 2007 index, 15 of the most attractive 25 FDI destinations are developing markets.
Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and Russia all rank among the top ten.
"The assessment of senior executive sentiment at the world's largest companies found corporate investors optimistic about the prospects for developing nations and increasingly targeting them for more corporate investment in the years ahead," AT Kearney said in a statement issued on Monday.
In a reassuring sign, the detailed survey of top executives conducted after the sub-prime crisis found that troubles in the credit markets did not dampen corporate plans for new foreign direct investments.
AT Kearney Chairperson Paul Laudicina pointed out that world's centre of power continued its "perceptible shift" from developed to developing markets.
"While global FDI recovers further from its 2003 lows, the increasingly trans-national behaviour of corporations is reflected in their investment preferences," he said.
"Developed countries are competing with developing countries for investment capital, and developing countries are increasingly winning out."
According to AT Kearney, emerging markets also have registered the strongest investor optimism, with India, China, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam experiencing the most positive change in investment outlook during the last year.
"While China and India remain the top destinations for first-time investments overall, developing country investors are more bullish about new markets such as Vietnam, Brazil and South Africa, while developed market investors tend to stick to familiar markets," FDI Confidence Index manager Janet Pau said.
"Developing country investors also are likely to be responsible for more than half (54 percent) of the investments greater than $500-million over the next three years."
Among developed countries, the US again placed third, while Europe's economic recovery has evidently helped Germany and the UK maintain their top ten rankings, while Australia ranked 11 and France, Canada and Japan placed 13, 14 and15 respectively.
The index, regular survey of global executives, provides a unique look at the present and future prospects for international investment flows, with companies participating in the survey accounting for more than $3.8-trillion in annual global revenue.
The 25 Most Attractive FDI Destinations according to Corporate Executives in order are China; India; United States; United Kingdom; Hong Kong; Brazil; Singapore; The United Arab Emirates; Russia; Germany; Australia; Vietnam; France; Canada; Japan; Malaysia; Other Gulf States; South Africa; Mexico; Turkey; Indonesia; Poland; Central Asia; South Korea and Czech Republic.