WASHINGTON—Two-thirds of companies say they will return to their pre-financial crisis level of foreign direct investment by 2016, according to the 2015 FDI Confidence Index issued by international management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.
However, most of those companies seem to favor technology over raw labor in choosing countries for FDI, Kearney said.
“In what may come as discouraging news to many countries that consider themselves manufacturing centers, this year's study shows a clear preference for regions that offer technological development and productivity over those that offer plentiful low-cost labor,” Kearney said in a press release accompanying the April 27 introduction of the new study.
In the 2015 FDI report, 66 percent of companies said they plan to return quickly to pre-2008 FDI levels, with Asian companies showing the strongest commitment.
For the third year in a row, the U.S. and China were ranked first and second among target countries for investment, with the United Kingdom rising this year to rank third.
The U.S. leads all countries among investors for confidence in its macroeconomic outlook, according to the report. Forty-six percent of those surveyed were more confident about the U.S. economy this year than last, and 44 percent expecting Gross Domestic Product growth in the U.S. of about 3.6 percent over the next three years.
Even political gridlock in Washington did not dampen investors' enthusiasm for the U.S., the report said.
First issued in 1998, the annual FDI Confidence Index offers an in-depth view of the sentiments of senior executives toward global investment, Kearney said.
The index can be found here.