Costa Rica has climbed from second position to be ranked as the most attractive country in the Caribbean and Central America for foreign direct investment.  

Costa Rica’s dominance in this year's ranking is no surprise given its successful record in attracting FDI into the country. According to fDiMarkets, Costa Rica has been the number one destination country in the region in terms of FDI project numbers since 2003. Costa Rica attracted a total of 227 FDI projects between 2003 and 2010 compared with only 178 FDI projects investing in Panama, Costa Rica’s closest competitor in the region. However, the latest figures released by fDiMarkets have shown that from January to May 2011, Panama has, so far, attracted more FDI projects than Costa Rica.


Costa Rica topped the category Best Human Resources, as well as ranking in the top two for Best Economic Potential, Best for Business Friendliness and Best FDI Strategy. 

The Dominican Republic was ranked second overall in the biennial ranking of countries across the region. fDi’s independent judging panel perceived the Dominican Republic to have the Best FDI Strategy.

Panama is one to watch

Despite only ranking in fifth position, fDiMarkets has indicated that Panama is on its way to attract more FDI projects in 2011 than in 2010. As a result, Panama was awarded the title of the Best Caribbean and Central American Country of the Future for Economic Potential 2011/12. The country also topped the category for Best Infrastructure.

Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados made an appearance in the top 10 Caribbean and Central American Countries of the future, ranking in third and fourth place, respectively. Trinidad and Tobago displayed strong Economic Potential, ranking fifth in this category, coupled with obtaining second position in the Cost Effectiveness category, whereas Barbados was placed in the top five of the categories: Best Human Resources, Best FDI Strategy and Best for Quality of Life.  

Puerto Rico is business friendly

Other winners include El Salvador, ranked as the most cost-effective country in the region; British Virgin Islands, which knocked Turks and Casio off the top spot to rank as the country with the best quality of life; and Puerto Rico was awarded the title of the best country in the Caribbean and Central American region for Business Friendliness in the 2011/12 ranking.


fDi’s Countries of the Future shortlists are created by an independent collection of data by the fDiIntelligence division across 31 Caribbean & Central American countries.

This information was organised under six categories: Economic Potential, Human Resources, Cost Effectiveness, Quality of Life, Infrastructure, and Business Friendliness.

A seventh FDI Strategy category was added; 17 countries submitted details about their promotion strategy and this was judged and scored by the independent judging panel.

 Countries scored up to a maximum of 10 points under each criterion, which was weighted by importance to give the overall scores.


fDiMarkets is the only online database tracking crossborder greenfield investment covering all sectors and countries worldwide. It provides real-time monitoring of investment projects, capital investment and job creation with powerful tools to track and profile companies investing overseas. fDiBenchmark is the only online tool to benchmark the investment attractiveness of countries and cities in more than 55 sectors. Its comprehensive location data series covers the main cost and quality competitiveness indicators for more than 350 locations around the world.

The fDiIntelligence division now consists of: fDiMagazine, fDiMarkets, fDiBenchmark, fDiAtlas and fDiReports.

fDiIntelligence compiled most of the data for the Caribbean & Central American Countries of the Future ranking with the exception of the FDI Strategy. For this category information was submitted by individual countries and scored by fDi’s independent judging panel.

Click on the link below for a PDF version of the complete results:


Download the Caribbean and Central American Countries of the Future 2011/12 Press Release here:


Download previous Caribbean and Central American Countries of the Future results here:

Caribbean and Central American Countries of the Future 2009/10