U.S. Loses On Global Opportunity Index

Finance - Financial injection - Finance

Finance - Financial injection - Finance (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Where is the best place in the world to invest? According to the Milken Institute’s latest report, Hong Kong retains the top spot in the world for attracting new foreign investment. Rounding out the top five are Singapore, Denmark, Canada and the United Kingdom – countries with high levels of human capital, vibrant financial centers, strong oversight of financial institutions, sound legal systems, and regulations that encourage trade and investment flows, according to the study.

The U.S. dropped to 22nd as a result of “opaqueness and lack of transparency” in our financial markets, said Russ DeVol, chief research officer at Milken. He also cited Dodd-Frank and other financial regulations “that aren’t yet adopted [but] leave a lot of ambiguity as to what the rules will be.”

Though the U.S. has had negative underlying economic fundamentals in recent years, "the most important reason why the U.S. has dropped is the buildup of public debt," said DeVol.  “We’re beginning to look a lot like Europe.”

So, what makes Hong Kong so attractive? “China really sees Hong Kong as a window to the world,” according to DeVol.  Recognized as a special administrative region of China, Hong Kong is able to “bring in external finance through cross-border flows” and China increasingly looks to it “as a conduit to make its currency more internationally convertible."

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