Vriens & Partners Asia Pacific Investment Climate Index 2013

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The most notable changes in this year’s Asia Pacific Investment Climate Index are the growing attractiveness of Southeast Asia’s economies in relation to declining perceptions of the investment climate in China and India.  China’s market access limitations, discriminatory treatment against foreign enterprises, sharply rising costs and recent labor disputes, and India’s lack of political will to reform and open up the economy, along with corruption and excessive red tape are increasingly frustrating international companies.

Against the backdrop of China and India’s political stagnation and economic slowdown, Southeast Asia is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for foreign investment.  Despite remaining challenges, Southeast Asia’s rapidly expanding middle class, investments in infrastructure and human capacity, and increasing public pressure for government accountability and transparency are driving improvements in the region’s attractiveness to foreign investors.  Preparations for the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015 and the Trans Pacific Partnership will require further liberalization and economic integration that are likely to sustain the Southeast Asian economies’ rise in the index.

The third Asia Pacific Investment Climate Index by Vriens & Partners is the only publication that examines the relationship between political and economic governance and foreign direct investment across the region. For this year’s results, V&P surveyed more than 200 corporate leaders and policy experts and conducted dozens of face to face interviews with business executives.

The Index evaluates and ranks 20 Asia Pacific countries according to six criteria: Rule of Law, Openness to International Trade & Business, Taxation, Corruption, Political Stability, and Fiscal & Monetary Administration.

The rankings of Asia Pacific Foreign Investment Climate Index are calculated according to assessments from Vriens & Partners extensive on-the-ground network of experts, surveys of executives from leading multinational firms, and data from well-known third-party reports.  As investor interest in the Asia Pacific soars, the Asia Pacific Investment Climate Index serves as a reference to help direct investors understand and evaluate the complexity of the region’s political and economic dynamics.  The index can help policymakers identify areas for improvement to increase the competiveness of their countries and attract higher quality foreign investment to catalyse development and transform their economies.